Seattle Seahawks (38) at Carolina Panthers (13)
Fresh off their dismantling of the Vikings, the Seahawks traveled to Charlotte to take on the 15-1 Carolina Panthers. This battle of defensive powerhouses was a physical slugfest.
The Seahawks finally found some offense by abandoning the run and letting Russell Wilson test the Carolina secondary. They scored on three straight possessions after failing to get a first down on their first three possessions.
Carolina answered with a passing drive of their own that ended in a touchdown. They found themselves down 10 points at halftime.
The Seahawks finally got their running game going in the third quarter, and proceeded to milk the clock in two long drives that resulted in 10 points. The Panthers got just one first down in their two possessions in the quarter.
Everything unwound for Carolina after that. Down three scores, they began taking too many risks with the football. Richard Sherman grabbed two interceptions in the final period, and the game turned into a massive blowout.
Russell Wilson was the star in this one. He completed 24 of 28 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch added 143 on the ground, with all but 23 of those coming in the second half.
Cam Newton completed 20 of 26 passes, but only had 153 yards. He also threw three second-half interceptions. It didn’t help that Newton also led the Panthers in rushing with only 32 rushing yards.
Carolina ends up one-and-done in the playoffs after an amazing season. For Seattle, they’re on to their third-straight NFC Championship Game.
Next: Green Bay at Arizona