The Seattle Seahawks will have revenge on their minds when they visit the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday afternoon. In a Week 6 game in Seattle, the Panthers beat the Seahawks 27-23. It was roughly at that point that bettors – and pundits – began to take the Panthers a bit more serious as they went on to flirt with a perfect regular season before losing to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16.
While both teams lay claim to defenses that have terrorized the rest of the NFL throughout the season, the focus will be on a pair of MVP candidates as Cam Newton squares off against Russell Wilson in the quarterback matchup.
Wilson is easily the more experienced of the two and has the Super Bowl win on his resume, but it was Cam Newton who entered the postseason as the NFL MVP fave at -500 (Wilson was +1200 at Bodog). The Auburn product threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while throwing a career-low 10 interceptions en route to leading the Panthers to a sparkling 15-1 straight up (11-5 against the spread) record.
As far as wins and losses, and cashing bet slips in the postseason is concerned, it’s not a surprise that Wilson has the slight edge over Newton. The Seahawks signal caller has gone 7-2 SU in nine career postseason starts, while posting a 5-4 ATS mark and a 5-4 OVER/UNDER clip in those games. Newton, on the other hand, has made just three career playoff starts, going 1-2 SU, 1-1-1 ATS and 2-1 OVER/UNDER. As far as head-to-head matchups are concerned, the Seahawks have gone 3-1 vs the Panthers with Wilson at the helm, and have gone a middling 2-2 ATS in the process.
Let us not forget, however, that the Seahawks are somewhat lucky to be in this situation come Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings were on the verge of punching their ticket to the Divisional Round with seconds left on the clock as the two teams battled in frigid conditions in the Wild Card Round. As we all know, kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal, which would have iced the game for the Vikes.
Still, with that miraculous recovery of a botched snap and subsequent completion to Tyler Lockett being a perfect example, you have to expect a bit of the unexpected when it comes to capping Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
And Newton for that matter.
In that aforementioned Week 6 contest, the Seahawks carried a commanding 23-14 lead in the fourth quarter before Newton orchestrated two drives of 80 yards resulting in a pair of touchdowns and a 27-23 win.
With that revenge spot in mind, we could very well be in store for a little more magic come Sunday.