Seahawks, Panthers share place in NFL postseason history
RENTON – Anything can happen in the playoffs.
The Seahawks proved that four years ago when they won a wild-card game after becoming the first team since the 1970 merger to reach the postseason with a losing record in a non-strike season. The Panthers showed it last week, doing the same thing after becoming just the second team in league history with that distinction.
So before the Seahawks became a potential roadblock to Carolina in the divisional round of playoffs, they were a reminder.
“Oh yeah. Believe me, that’s been all part of the conversation,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said during a conference call on Wednesday. “I’ve had to deal with that for the last five weeks as we started to get on a little bit of a role and people (started) talking about us. I said, ‘Truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter, guys, how you get in. Just get in and then see what happens.’ “
The 2010 Seahawks and this year’s Panthers both punched their postseason tickets in similar fashion, claiming the NFC’s fourth seed – which comes with a home game – by virtue of finishing atop a division that didn’t produce a winning team.
Carolina won its final four regular-season games to finish 7-8-1 and claim the NFC South title before beating Arizona in the wild-card round. Seattle won the NFC West in 2010 with a 7-9 record then upset New Orleans, the defending Super Bowl champion.
“They got hot, they won a game,” Rivera said of that Seahawks team. “That’s kinda the way we look at it. We got hot, we won a home playoff game and we just go from there. So it’s been something that’s been talked about. It’s been mentioned.”