Wild Card weekend is officially complete and the matchups for the Divisional Round are set as the top seeded Panthers will face off with the sixth seeded Seattle Seahawks.
This matchup will mark the sixth time these teams have played each other in the last four years and the fourth time in just the last two seasons.
Until Week 6 of this season when the Panthers defeated the Seahawks on the road in comeback fashion, they had come up short on four straight occasions including last year’s Divisional Round game.
Seattle has been on a roll to end the season winning eight of their last ten since losing to the Panthers and surviving a defensive showdown against Minnesota last Sunday.
With this being a rematch of this season as well as last year’s playoffs and with a budding rivalry being formed, plenty of Panthers players had opinions on their upcoming matchup.
Ted Ginn Jr., who is expected back after a one game absence, told Max Henson of Panthers.com his thoughts on playing Seattle.
Ginn had just one catch for 18-yards in their first contest of the season but has since become a valuable contributor on the Panthers’ offense and has the ability to give the Seahawks defense trouble with his deep speed.
Multiple members of the Carolina secondary also gave their thoughts on this rematch with Seattle. Veteran safety Roman Harper said the Panthers are the better team and that they are built for this, while veteran cornerback Charles Tillman, who tore his ACL in Week 17, told reporters he plans to be a “cheerleader” and a vocal leader and coach for his teammates.
Outspoken corner Josh Norman also had something to say in regards to the Seahawks and the challenges of the playoffs.
During his Monday press conference, Ron Rivera talked to the media about the matchup before them saying that “everyone you play at this point in the season is good,” and also had some high praise for Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson; “I’ve said this before, I think he’s one of the best quarterbacks in this league in terms of winning.”
The Panthers coach also mentioned that their previous victory against Seattle in Week 6 helped to “validate” the team early on and showed them that they can beat the defending NFC Champions; a key confidence booster as the Panthers look to make it to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2003.