Somebody should give Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert and other members of the team a piece of advice — be careful what you wish for.
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Tolbert said on Tuesday that a few of his teammates are eager to play the Seahawks this weekend in an NFC Divisional playoff game, because that’s the team they wanted to play this postseason.
The Panthers finished the regular season with a 7-8-1 record, but it was good enough to win the NFC South and earn the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.
After dismantling the Arizona Cardinals in last weekend’s NFC Wild Card game, the Panthers are getting their wish — a date with the Seahawks.
"“There’s some guys in here that actually wanted to play Seattle,” Tolbert said. “As a competitor, you want to beat the best. They’re king of the hill.”"
Seattle enters the contest as defending Super Bowl champions, winners of six straight games and owners of the top seed in the NFC.
But the Panthers don’t seem to care about any of that — they are just interested in becoming the first playoff team with a losing record to win two games in the same postseason.
The Seahawks were 7-9 when they entered the 2010-11 postseason and beat the New Orleans Saints, to become the first losing record team to win a playoff game.
This time around, it’s the Seahawks who are the defending champs with momentum and the energy of a CenturyLink crowd on their side.
The last time the Seahawks met the Panthers was earlier this season, a defensive battle of both teams that saw a combined five field goals and one late touchdown by the Seahawks that was the difference maker in the game.
That Week 8 game witnessed two evenly matched teams — the score was tied 6-6 at the end of the third quarter, and Russell Wilson‘s 23-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson with 0:47 left in the game proved to be the difference maker.
Seattle left Carolina with a 13-9 win and a 4-3 record. It was the turning point in their season, as they would finish the year winning eight of their next nine games.
Carolina went the other direction after the loss, losing four straight after the Seahawks loss to drop to 3-8-1 before winning their last four games of the year to clinch the division crown.
The Seahawks are 11-point favorites in the rematch, which will be on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 5:15 p.m. PT.
And folks, it should be a good one.