Since the 2008 season, the top two NFC seeds are just 9-8 at home in the playoffs.
CharlotteVibe @ charlottevibe 18m
Russell Wilson led all QBs with 6 rushing TD this season. Cam Newton was 2nd with 5.
Most first downs rushing by NFL QBs this season:
41 - Wilson (also 6 TDs rushing)
39 - Cam Newton (also 5 TDs rushing)
27 - Kaepernick (also 1 TD rushing)
22 - Bortles (has zero TDs rushing)
16 - Luck (also 3 TDs rushing)
16 - Rodgers (also 2 TDs rushing)
Randall Liu yesterday, the NFL's Director of NFC Football Communications:
Since Dec 1, the Seahawks D and the Panthers D are #1 and #2 in the NFL in BOTH points allowed per game AND yards allowed/game. Since Dec 1, Panthers are 5-0 and Seahawks are 4-0
A third of the teams SEA faced held SEA to only one offensive TD or less: Panthers, Cowboys, Cardinals, Rams, and 49ers. Three of them did it in SEA
NFL.com, Gregg Rosenthal:
"The Panthers ' running game and defense is a recipe for a game decided by a few big plays...Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis are playing at an astronomical level. If anyone can stop Marshawn Lynch , they are the guys"
ESPN, David Newton:
In Carolina's three games vs SEA since 2012, the Panthers D has Marshawn Lynch under control, holding him to an average of 63.3 yards in those three games. Lynch had only 62 yards on 14 carries when the teams met in October. And Carolina’s run defense has become much better since facing SEA in October. The Panthers have held their past five opponents to 87.4 yards rushing a game after allowing 131.8 yards in their first nine games.
New York Times:
In 2012, the Seahawks beat the Panthers, 16-12.
In 2013, the Seahawks beat the Panthers, 12-7.
This season, the Seahawks beat the Panthers, 13-9.
Seattle did not score a single touchdown in the first 44 minutes of any of those games. In fact, Carolina led 44 minutes into each game, but Russell Wilson threw the eventual game-winning touchdown to steal a victory each time. Will something similar unfold this weekend?
Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone:
"This is going to be one hellaciously tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers. ... This is a team that, despite losing six consecutive games at one point this season, comes into CenturyLink with two huge intangibles on their side: Momentum (a five-game winning streak, capped by the 27-16 wild-card playoff victory Saturday over Arizona), and the liberating underdog’s mindset of having nothing to lose.
They also have some tangibles on their side as well, starting with a suffocating defense. It has been dominating since coach Ron Rivera tweaked the lineup ... With top-notch linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, the Panthers have..held Marshawn Lynch more or less in check, limiting him to a 63-yard average [over the last 3 meetings]. The result has been a series of fierce defensive slogs in which the final score looks like a Coors Field baseball result — 13-9, 12-7, 16-12. Those are the kind of games that should make Seahawks fans a little nervous: One untimely turnover or defensive breakdown, and those narrow Seattle victories could have gone the other way. And the Panthers know it.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is the ultimate wild card. He is..a 6-foot-5, 245-pound physical marvel capable of brilliant feats, if only in short bursts. And that might be all the Panthers need, based on the trend of their earlier matchups: A short burst of brilliance at a decisive moment, as Wilson pulled off last time."
Russell Wilson during his 1st two games in SEA this season (GB and DEN): 4 TD, 1 INT, QB ratings of 110.9 and 99.9
Then in the 3rd home game in SEA, a loss to DAL, Wilson was completely awful. 47.6 QB rating, his worst this season. Six days later, Percy Harvin was traded and rumors swirled about a lockeroom rift between Wilson and his teammates
After that, Wilson hasn't been the same when playing in SEA. Wilson over his last 5 games in SEA: 2 TD, 4 INT with 1 rushing TD. QB ratings of 121.6, 68.0, 63.9, 53.7, and 50.0. Only had more than 31 rushing yards twice.
Meanwhile, behind a recently-rebuilt offensive line around 2013 1st Team All-Pro C Ryan Kalil, a healthy 2013 1st Team All-Pro FB Mike Tolbert, and a healthy feature back Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers ground game has been dominating down the stretch
SportsCenter @ SportsCenter
Panthers in playoff games rushing over 100 yards: 7-0. When don't rush for 100 or more: 0-5
"Check out the Panthers’ running game the past five weeks, since they woke up from their 65-day winless streak. They’ve rushed for 271, 123, 209, 194 and 188 yards."
ESPN Radio in Omaha, Joe Quinn @JoeESPN590 3d
The #Panthers have a great rushing attack- very tough to defend.
WEIU-TV Illinois Nicholas Ruffolo @ruffolonick 22 Dec
After breaking 120 rushing yards once this season, the #Panthers have 178, 271, 123 and 209 in last 4 games since (2013 1st Team All-Pro) FB Mike Tolbert returned.
Jonathan Stewart had more rushing yards over the last month of the regular season than anyone but the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray and then added 123 yards against the Cardinals in the 27-16 playoff victory .
Joe Person @ josephperson 3d
Jonathan Stewart's 123 rushing yards the 2nd most in #Panthers playoff history (DeShaun Foster 151 vs. NYG 1/8/06).
compare Stewart over the last month of the regular season to:
4 gms - 418 yds (4.0 ypc) - DeMarco Murray (Pro Bowl, 1stT All-Pro)
4 gms - 401 yds (5.1 ypc) - Jonathan Stewart
4 gms - 369 yds (5.2 ypc) - Eddie Lacy
4 gms - 350 yds (5.1 ypc) - Marshawn Lynch (Pro Bowl, 2ndT All-Pro)
4 gms - 345 yds (4.3 ypc) - Arian Foster (Pro Bowl)
4 gms - 315 yds (4.3 ypc) - Le'Veon Bell (Pro Bowl, 1stT All-Pro)
4 gms - 301 yds (4.2 ypc) - LeSean McCoy (Pro Bowl)
4 gms - 257 yds (4.6 ypc) - Justin Forsett, BAL
4 gms - 226 yds (5.1 ypc) - Jamaal Charles (Pro Bowl)
FOX Sports Radio Ben Maller @benmaller 28 Dec
DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Le'Veon Bell get headlines, nevertheless Panthers Jonathan Stewart leads NFL with 437 rushing yards L4W.
and Stewart is better on the road:
4.3 ypc at home
5.1 ypc on road
and Stewart doesn't do as well on grass (like we have at BOA stadium), but he loves turf like they have in SEA:
4.0 ypc on grass
6.4 ypc on turf
meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch is the opposite:
5.2 ypc on grass (4.4 ypc on grass at BOA vs Panthers)
4.3 ypc on turf (??? ypc on turf vs Panthers)
4.4 ypc at SEA's CenturyLink Field (turf)
And of course, Stewart was born and raised in the Seattle metro area. This is his first time coming home.
Bravo to you OP. What a post to put this game into perspective.