The Saints and Panthers are both 3-4 and yet tied atop the NFC South. New Orleans has an extremely quick turnaround after playing on Sunday night.
The 0-7 Oakland Raiders travel to Seattle this weekend to take on the defending Super Bowl champions. And while the 4-3 Seahawks have already lost as many games as they did all of last year, they still are an opponent never to be taken lightly on their home field. Of course, the winless Silver & Black can’t take any team lightly these days as they look to snap a 13-game losing streak dating back to last season.
Trailing by just three points in the fourth quarter, the Oakland Raiders fumbled twice and saw their chance to win the game against the Cleveland Browns on the road disappear quickly. With the 23-13 loss, the Silver & Black drop to 0-7 on the 2014 season—and it may be awhile before they have a decent chance to win another game.
The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.
The Carolina Panthers really weren’t even expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, but they surpassed all expectations and then some. Unfortunately, a team they got the better of during the regular season got the better of them in the playoffs.
My hands may be white from all the chalk I pick, you know there will be one supreme surprise this week. But where? Since we went 3-1 last week – losing with the wretched Bengals, like everyone else – let’s try our hand at the most heavenly weekend of a most horrible winter.
The Carolina Panthers were thrilled to get the first-round bye in the NFL playoffs because it meant one less game between them and the Super Bowl. They were also very grateful for it because it allowed a number of players to fully heal up.
The only two notable names that could miss this Sunday’s game between the 49ers and Panthers are Steve Smith and Carlos Rogers. While it’s unlikely that Smith will sit, it would not be a surprise to see Rogers not dressed. Regardless of what happens, both teams will be fine, and shouldn’t have to make any major adjustments.
When Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said that he felt the team under the most pressure this week will be San Francisco he was dead wrong. Not only is his team the one that HAS to win this game, if he really believes that the Panthers are playing with house money he is setting his team up for failure.
The Carolina Panthers have not been to the playoffs since 2008. The upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers will mark just the fifth time in franchise history that the Panthers have been to the playoffs, and that means the team is severely lacking in playoff experience.