Ready To Pounce?

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville

On November 30th, the Carolina Panthers were sitting at 3-8-1 and had just lost to the Vikings 31-13. That seems like a lifetime ago.

Since then the Panthers are 5-0 including convincing wins in a de facto NFC South Championship Game on the road against Atlanta and a playoff game against an 11 win Cardinals team. The Panthers are now looking at a trip to Seattle or Green Bay (depending on the Lions/Cowboys game). So what has lead to the Panthers apparent turn around? Well a large part of it goes to the NFC South’s inability to produce a team with a winning record. But the other 2 big factors just happen to be the 2 things you need to succeed in the playoffs. They are running the ball effectively and playing good defense. Over the last 6 weeks(including playoffs) Jonathan Stewart has ran for the 2nd most yards per game in the NFL, behind only DeMarco Murray. That has helped the Panthers increase their points per game by almost 9. The Panthers defense has also pick up its side of the ball allowing 17 fewer points per game over the span of the winning streak. The panthers also have the 2nd best turnover margin at +6 over that span. Let’s not forget that last season the Panthers were one of the best teams in football at 12-4. Add the fact that the young players that Carolina has relied on this season are maturing and the team as a whole is getting healthier and you have a very dangerous underdog.
Whether they play the Seahawks or the Packers next week, the Panthers will not be intimidated and have the tools to make some noise.

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