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Panthers tight-roping way into playoff position?


WhenFalconsWin
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We have to beat the Aint's.

I really don't won't to play Atlanta in the playoffs, big props to you guys!

Thanks.

I think both of our teams are pretty evenly-matched. A showdown at a neutral site would be amazing, but obviously that can't happen.

Just please make sure you guys falter to the Saints on Sunday. After the season the Saints have had, it's only fair. :D

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IN carolina?? no way the south has been too good at home this year.

IN atlanta???? **** yea bring them on

I have no problem with them at our house! At their's is another story, same with the G-Men!

Power Rankings: Panthers tight-roping way to playoff fate

By Pete Prisco

CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Tell Pete your opinion!

Updated Dec. 23

We always talk about the fine line in the NFL between good and bad, champs and chumps.

The Carolina Panthers might be living that right now.

The Panthers were a 50-yard field goal away from earning the top seed in the NFC Sunday night, which would have meant the NFC playoffs had to go through Charlotte.

If John Kasay makes the kick at the end of regulation -- tough in those windy conditions -- the Panthers defeat the New York Giants and take the top seed. Kasay missed, the Giants won in overtime and now the Panthers might be staring at the wild-card route.

Ouch.

If Carolina loses to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and the Atlanta Falcons beat the St. Louis Rams at home, the Panthers will be the fifth seed in the playoffs, which means a road game at Arizona while Atlanta wins the division and gets that coveted bye.

If the Panthers defeat the Saints, they win the NFC South and take the second seed and get a bye.

I was all set to pencil the Panthers into the second spot in my CBSSports.com Power Rankings late Sunday before the Giants rallied to win that game. The Panthers played their butts off -- for nothing.

You can bet the Panthers will get a full dose of Sean Payton's bag of tricks in New Orleans. Drew Brees is 402 yards away from breaking Dan Marino's single-season record for passing yards and the Saints are playing for nothing.

How much fun will they have?

Not only that, but the Panthers are playing a second consecutive road game and put an awful lot into beating the Giants. What will they have left?

This is when coaches like John Fox earn their money. Getting his team back focused will be a challenge.

I saw the Saints-Panthers game live the first time they played. The Panthers beat up the Saints, mugging the outside receivers, forcing Brees to pull the ball down a lot. They better hope to do the same. The only problem is the Saints are much better offensively at home than they are on the road.

This is not a good situation for the Panthers. A loss and all the momentum they had heading into the fourth quarter of that game with the Giants, when it looked like a No. 1 seed was theirs, will be gone. The road to the Super Bowl would be a tough one with a loss, and a disappointment.

Coaches always talk cliché-speak about one play can be the difference in winning it all. That missed field goal by Kasay just might be that play for the Panthers.

What a fine line it is indeed.

Power Rankings

Current Team Previous

1 Titans · Trends 2

The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through Nashville. They will be the top seed and will be tough to beat at home.

2 Giants · Trends 3

That second half against Carolina might be just what they need to get things rolling heading into the playoffs. That was impressive, especially the way they ran for 301 yards.

3 Steelers · Trends 1

Despite the loss to the Titans, they will still be the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Ben Roethlisberger has to take care of the ball better when he's getting hit -- or that will cost them in the playoffs.

4 Panthers · Trends 4

It has to be tough to be so close to taking the top seed and see it fall away. Getting 301 rushing yards rammed down your defense's throat has to be a concern.

5 Colts · Trends 5

The way Peyton Manning is playing they will be a real threat come playoff time. He might be the MVP. The defense does have to play better.

6 Falcons · Trends 7

They are in the playoffs. What an amazing season. Mike Smith is coach of the year. If they win the division, which is possible, there's no arguing that.

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about half the divisions in the NFL will be settled by a single game on Sunday. its a competitive league. i dont see how its a bad thing

i think we will win on Sunday easily. dont get your hopes up goon fans. you guys are wildcard material

wait a minute o you prophet, werent you the same one that said we wouldnt have a winning record? now we're wildcard matireal? boy were you wrong, could you be wrong agian?

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wait a minute o you prophet, werent you the same one that said we wouldnt have a winning record? now we're wildcard matireal? boy were you wrong, could you be wrong agian?

yea i was wrong and yes i could be wrong again, so what the fu,ck is your point? can i not make a prediction? are you never wrong?

i hope your christmas tree catches on fire and burns your house down

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about half the divisions in the NFL will be settled by a single game on Sunday. its a competitive league. i dont see how its a bad thing

i think we will win on Sunday easily. dont get your hopes up goon fans. you guys are wildcard material

I could understand you wanting your team to do well Sunday but, if you win in the superdome I expect it to be a last second affair! The Saints like the rest of the south have been great at home this season and Brees is going for a passing record? I suspect they will give you guys all you can handle and then some!

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