Monday, December 22, 2008

UPDATED Panther playoff picture

Two or five.

Those are the only two NFC playoff seeds remaining that Carolina can be. And they're not bad numbers -- not No.1, as Carolina would have been had John Kasay's 50-yarder gone in, but not terrible, either.

Here's the deal for Carolina: Sunday's game at New Orleans (out of the race, but still a dangerous spoiler) is now huge. If the Panthers win at New Orleans (8-7), they will be the No.2 seed and get all the good stuff that goes with that -- a first-round playoff bye and a home playoff game Jan.10 or 11 against a foe to be determined.

That No.2 seed would also happen if Carolina (11-4) loses but Atlanta (10-5) also loses to St. Louis. But that's not going to happen, I don't think -- St. Louis (2-13) is awful.

So here's the No.5 seed scenario for the Panthers: Carolina loses Sunday at New Orleans to finish 11-5. Atlanta wins. At 11-5, Atlanta wins the relevant tiebreaker (better conference record) and, thus, the NFC South.

In that case, the Panthers play a week earlier in the playoffs. They would likely go to Arizona in a first-round game to face the Cardinals either Jan.3 or 4. Then they would face a much tougher road to the Super Bowl -- three games to get there instead of two -- and might well have to go to both Atlanta and back to Giants Stadium to make it.

13 comments:

Natasha said...

It'll be interesting to see how Fox totally has to change it up next week. Our plan against the Giants was to try and stop the run and force Eli to throw, which we didnt...Against the Saints we need to stop Brees in the air and force the run...
With Kemo out and a hole in our middle, our defense should adjust just fine, and the Saints shouldn't be too bad (fingers crossed) I worry more about New Kid On the Block in ATL, and the comeback kid in AZ...

Andy LaZur said...

Coach Fox lost this game. His overly conservative play calling in the 4th quarter and overtime was playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Running up the middle every first and second down gave the Giants all the time they needed to come back and win. If Coach Fox keeps using this 'scared' strategy against New Orleans and in the playoffs, the Panthers are going nowhere. What happened to Steve Smith in the second half? Did Coach Fox forget he was on the team? A coach is supposed to put his team in position to win, and Coach Fox failed miserably late in this game.

mKD said...

Saints are dangerous...this would be quite a fall if it happens. They have crazy fans...remember the F-Da Eagles girl at the Saints game? See here.

http://kat-dennings-boobs.blogspot.com/

Vikram said...

One good thing about this loss is that the Panthers won't be in the dreaded complacent "sleep" mode from now on something that I had always feared. This team is good only when they play from behind. Otherwise it just lacks motivation to build on the suceess (and leads). It just needs to focus on every game from now on starting with New Orleans. Its much better than the 2-week bye that we would have got if we won against the Giants.

panthers09 said...

i am a die hard carolina i have full confidence in the panthers to do what they need to do top make it all way and win they superbowl

leroyisroyel said...

Leroy Hey, i wondering how will atlanta win the division if we are tin head to head and,division, conference

Jody Anderson said...

Hey Andy Lazur, last time I checked Coach Fox wasn't the one letting the giants break fifty yard runs, it was the panthers players on defense, the panthers played a great game! It just so happens a couple of injuries hurt our ability to stop the run, I get so sick of the pessimistic fair weather fans that post comments on these pages, if you cant deal with a loss please do all of us real panther fans a favor and pull for the raiders or lions or something, I have been a panthers fan since day one and even during the 1-15 I had a better outlook than you do, and we are 11-4! And one more thing Andy, you wanna know why you are posting comments on this page instead of standing on the sidelines coaching? Because you are a moron! who knows even less about football than my 75 year old grandmother, please all of you pessimists stay off the blogs and quit b!tching about stuff you have no control over. The panthers are a great team and they are going to do great things in the playoffs! GO PANTHERS!!!!!

Jody Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Leroy, if we lose and they win, they'd win on conference record. All five of our losses would be in the conference (MIN, TB, ATL, NYG, NO), whereas they'd have only four (CAR, NO, TB, PHI, with the fifth loss to DEN.)

Jermel said...

I for one am pretty optimistic about the Panthers going forward. I think they got the opportunity see how they stack up against an NFL elite team. On the road in unfavorable conditions the Panthers came one wind gust away from beating them. I can guarantee you the Giants don't want to see the again, and I believe they will. Remember when the Panthers lost to Philly during the regular season only to beat them in the NFC Championship game. I see a repeat.

Ram said...

I want the offense to play 4 full quarters instead of taking 1 quarter off every game and putting that much pressure on the defense. Every game, I repeat, Every game they take the 3rd quarter or 1st quarter off. Thank the defense everytime for keeping it close.

Best scenario for Panthers is never to have a lead until the last 5 minutes of the game.

Michael said...

Ram, the OFFENSE got the 11-point lead. Not THEIR fault the defense couldn't hold it.

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