Cleat Geeks

The Panther Post: Playoff Perspective

Perspective is a funny thing.  Nowhere is perspective so easily skewed than in the world of sports.

From 1987 to 1990, the Chicago Bulls–with a guy named Michael Jordan–lost in the NBA playoffs every year to the Detroit Pistons, aka “The Bad Boys.”  Perspective in NBA fandom became that the Bulls were too finesse to handle the rough and tumble style of the Pistons.  They were good, they just weren’t good enough to beat Detroit. The fact that the 1990-1991 Bulls won an Eastern Conference best 61 games did little to change the perspective that they would not advance past the Pistons when they inevitably met in the playoffs. It took just four games for perspective to change.  Jordan and the Bulls swept past Detroit for the first of what would be six NBA titles in the next eight years.carolina-seattle-free-pick-week-5-2012

Perspective around the NFL is that Seattle has too much moxie and experience for Carolina to handle, especially in the Playoffs. They are the Panthers personal incarnation of “The Bad Boys”.

A Little History:

The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks have met five times in the past four years.  The results of those meetings are as follows:

2012: Seattle, 16 @ Carolina, 12.  The Seahawks lost in the divisional round NFC playoffs.  Carolina missed the playoffs, finishing 7-9 in Cam Newton’s second season.seahawksVSpanthers

2013: Seattle, 12 @ Carolina, 7.  Seattle won SB XLVIII.  Carolina finished 12-4 but lost at home in the Divisional round to reigning NFC Champion San Francisco.

2014: Seattle, 13 @ Carolina, 9.  Seattle lost SB XLIX on a last-minute interception at the goal line.  The Panthers lost on the road in the divisional round to….

2015 Playoffs: @Seattle, 31, Carolina 17.  See above.

2015: Carolina 27, @ Seattle, 23.  Carolina is an NFL-best 15-1.  Seattle finished as an NFC Wild Card at 10-6 and beat Minnesota 10-9 in the Wild Card round when Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal with under thirty seconds to play.

olsenPanthersSeahawksIf the Panthers win over Seattle during the regular season enough to change the perspective that Seattle is the most dangerous team in the NFC playoff field?  Probably not.  The fact that Carolina has won 19 of their last 20 regular season games and won a playoff game last season does not do enough to sway perspective away from the fact that the Seahawks have been to two consecutive Super Bowls and probably should have won both of them.  The ‘Hawks 10-6 regular season record (which includes two losses to the woeful Rams) is easily brushed aside as a great team going through the motions of a long regular season. The victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat win at Minnesota only enhances the perspective that “great teams find a way to win.”  This is garbage of course.  They didn’t “find a way to win.”  They simply found a kicker who couldn’t handle the moment and snap-hooked a chip-shot field goal.  Either way, Carolina’s road to greatness must still be navigated by overcoming their own personal road block known as the Seattle Seahawks.CamintheTunnell

Michael Jordan’s Bulls finally did it.

Cam Newton’s Panthers get their shot on Sunday.

Prediction: It’s hard to imagine two teams could be this evenly matched, both from a personnel standpoint as well as style of play.  The Seahawks are what the Panthers have worked so hard to be.  Here’s to changing the perspective:  Panthers 26, Seahawks 20.

 

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