Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joined KIRO Radio 97.3 FM's Dori Monson on Friday morning to share thoughts on Sunday's divisional round playoff matchup with the Panthers in Carolina, where kickoff is set for 10 a.m. PT at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium.
"This is a really good matchup and a fantastic team that's had a great season with all of the highlights that you'd ever want, an all but perfect season," Carroll said of the Panthers, who finished with a 15-1 regular-season record to secure the NFC's No. 1 seed. "So it's a great challenge for us and hopefully we'll make it a tough game for them, too."
Sunday's game will be the sixth time since 2012 that the Seahawks and Panthers have met, including postseason. Carolina topped the Seahawks 27-23 in Week 6 at CenturyLink Field earlier this season, but Seattle has held the advantage otherwise, knocking the Panthers out of the playoffs in last year's divisional round and winning a regular-season game at Carolina each year from 2012-14.
"It's going to be interesting to see how it goes," Carroll said. "We've always played tight games and been very close and hard fought and all that. I would anticipate, if we're fortunate, it's going to be that, at least. We're expecting to play well. We have a good understanding of what they do. It's the most difficult offense that we have to prepare for because of [quarterback] Cam [Newton] and all of the things that they do with him and his special abilities, too."
Including last week's wild-card win over the Minnesota Vikings, the Seahawks carry a franchise-record six-game road-winning streak into this weekend's game. Should Seattle advance to the NFC Championship next week, that too would come on the road because the Seahawks own the sixth and final playoff seed in the conference, meaning all of their playoff games will be played away from home.
"We are geared up for this road stuff and we have been very good at it and we have a lot of confidence about that and we know that this has got to happen on the road for us as we finish up," Carroll said. "Our mindset is very strong about that. We'll see if we can get it done."
The full audio file from Monson's show is embedded for you above and a few more comments from the Seattle head coach are laid out for you below.
(On the availability of running back Marshawn Lynch...) "We're doing it day by day. We're trying to see how he responds to each day and see if he can find his confidence where he can get after it. He's working really hard at it. He's trying his best and we'll see how that goes when it gets closer to game-time."
(On if every other player is expected to be available at Carolina...) "Everybody except for Will Tukuafu. Will will be unlikely to play in this one, but other than that we're in great shape. We're fortunate this late in the year to have a full roster."
(On the Rams move to L.A. for the start of the 2016 season...)"It's a long-awaited event, it's been 20 years or so that they've been talking about this. We were always in and around the conversation down there because we were at the [L.A. Coliseum] and all that. So to finally get it done is a big deal. It's really fun for the people of southern California that are excited about that happening, it's unfortunate for those in Missouri. But for the people there, they're going to be really excited about it. It's going to be a very difficult transition, just as it always would be, to move a club and the people and the administration and all of that, figure out where they're going to hold up and all of that until they have their permanent place. So it's a big story there. As far as us in the division, everybody likes it. We all like it. We all would rather stay west and not have to travel back to Missouri for division games, so that's a big deal to us."
Take a walk down memory lane with photos from all 10 Divisional playoff game the Seahawks have ever played, including last year's matchup against the Carolina Panthers who the Seahawks face once again in a Divisional playoff game on Sunday.