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Mixed Emotions from a Crazy, Crazy Panthers Playoff Win

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Can someone please Google the symptoms of a heart attack?

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

What. Was. THAT?

It has been several hours now since the Carolina Panthers beat our nemesis Seattle Seahawks to advance to the NFC title game, and I’m still struggling to reconcile exactly how I feel about what went down.

This perplexing game had me feeling both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows a sports fan can experience during a single contest.

Within a few short minutes I went from cocky to humbled, elated to enraged, enthusiastic to despondent.

My emotions are still rattled and jumpy after the mild heart attack I suffered when 31-0 turned to 31-24 with an onside kick loomin.

Can I have my insurance charge the Carolina Panthers for the new pace maker I am going to need after this game?

Seriously, though. What was that? And how am I supposed to feel about it?

Should I be thrilled that we dominated, humiliated, and steamrolled the Seahawks for a 31-0 halftime lead? Or am I supposed to be horrified that we got dominated, humiliated, and steamrolled by the Seahawks the entire second half?

Should I be encouraged by Carolina’s phenomenal first half game planning on both sides of the ball? Or should I be concerned that at halftime Seattle made all the right adjustments while Carolina’s coaching staff seemed to just hope, hope, hope the clock would somehow magically run out?

Should I be proud that Sean McDermott devised a scheme to bottle up Russell Wilson the entire first half? Or should I be questioning McDermott’s sanity for BLITZING JOSH NORMAN ON 3RD-AND-10 LEAVING KURT COLEMAN IN MAN COVERAGE ON TYLER LOCKETT!!!???

Should I feel secure knowing our special teams can come up with an onside kick with the game on the line? Or should I be pulling my hair out after that same special teams gave up a 50-yard kickoff return (plus a 15-yard penalty) to start the second half and then got caught with their pants down on a fake punt?

Should I be enthusiastic knowing Carolina understands how to jump out to a big lead against a great opponent? Or should I be taking heartburn medication knowing the Panthers don’t know how to play with a big lead?

Should I be proud that Carolina won despite having a secondary that is held together by pipe cleaners and duct tape (read: Robert McClain and Cortland Finnegan)? Or should I feel panicked knowing the Panthers had to revert to a soft, soft, soft zone to hide the secondary, seemingly content to give up wide-open 12-yard receptions whenever Seattle wanted them (AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!)?

As you can tell, I have seriously mixed emotions right now, and all of these feelings are justified in one way or another. You probably felt them, too.

What a strange, strange emotional roller coaster this game was.

But in the end, the Panthers won. We won! And that’s all that matters.

We are now just two wins away from being Super Bowl champions!

I think we can get there. I really do. I just hope the next two wins aren’t as stressful and anxiety inducing as this win against Seattle was.

I don’t think the pace maker I am having installed tomorrow can take another game like this.