Now that the NFC seeding is set and we know who will be in the playoffs, we can start deciding which teams we would rather play. The 4 wildcard teams are the Packers, Eagles, 49ers, and Saints. These 4 teams will play next weekend and I am curious what each of your opinions are on the teams that matchup best with us. Each team presents a threat but each also has weaknesses that the Panthers can exploit. The Panther have a bye but we will play whichever wildcard winner has the highest seed, and the seeding look like this...
1: Seattle Seahwaks
The wildcard games go like this: Saints vs. Eagles on Saturday and 49ers vs. Packers
The Eagles have a fast paced offense that can punch you in the mouth quickly, but we also have the best defense in the league, so it is hard to say if the Eagles can take advantage of our weak secondary. Packers have one of the best QB's in the league with Aaron Rodgers and you would expect him to slice our secondary anytime he pleases; the Packers defense is average though and their offensive line is average at best as well which means Monsters Inc. could have a field day. We beat the 49ers earlier this season at Candlestick, but they are a different team now with Davis and Crabtree back. It all depends on your opinion on Colin Kaepernick, whether or not you believe he can stand toe to toe with the defense; because this would be a defensive battle with San Francisco's formidable defense more than likely shutting down our inconsistent offense like they did last time. Our division rival Saints who have always been a terrible matchup for us, can throw it on us and keep Cam Newton and company out of the end zone. The only good thing about this is it is impossible for us to play the Saints in the 2nd round, the only way we play the Saints in the playoffs is if they find a way to beat the Seahwaks is Seattle, which would be near impossible for the Saints the way they play away. Last is the Seahwaks who we almost beat in our first game if it was not for a DeAngelo Williams fumble. There offense is very good but they seemed to have problems against our defense when we last played, the possibility of Harvin being back for the NFC Championship game which we would play them in could be the wildcard. But again you have to wonder if the inconsistent Panthers offense can beat the Seahawks defense, I am not sure they can.
Let's face it once you get to the playoffs every team is dangerous, it could go either way with any of these teams. But I still want to know what is your best case playoff scenario for the Panthers, who do you want to see them play each game to give them the best shot at the Super Bowl. Now it is more than likely any team that goes into Seattle will lose unless their is some amazing act by the football gods, so more than likely it will be us against the Seahwaks in the championship. So I am really more interested in knowing who you guys think gives us the best chance to win in our first playoff game. I personally hope we end up with either the Packers or Eagles in our first game, but of course my ultimate playoffs scenario would be for either Green Bay or Philadelphia to travel to Seattle and give us a better matchup in the NFC Championship. I believe the Saints could come in very hyped to play us if they somehow beat Seattle and a motivated Saints team scares me, and it will end the curse they have against away teams. Seattle is possibly the best team in the league, and I am not sure we can travel to Seattle and knock them off. The 49ers are the last team I want to see, even if it is at home this team scares me because they have the ability to kill our secondary and shut down our offense.
My rankings for the teams that give the Panthers the best chance to win: easiest to hardest.
1:Green Bay Packers
2: Philadelphia Eagles
3: New Orleans Saints
5: San Francisco 49ers