Good morning, 12s.
Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Tuesday, Jan. 12 - about your Seattle Seahawks:
What To Watch For: Seahawks at Panthers
With wild-card weekend in the rear-view mirror, Gregg Rosenthal at NFL.com takes a quick look ahead to his "favorite weekend on the NFL calendar," as he identifies three things to watch for in each of the divisional round playoff games to be played this weekend.
The Seahawks meet the Panthers at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium at 10:05 a.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 17. The two teams met once already this season, with Carolina winning 27-23 in Week 6 at CenturyLink Field. But Seattle was the team responsible for knocking Carolina out of the playoffs in last year's divisional round, and the Seahawks have won three regular-season meetings at Carolina each year from 2012-14.
Here's three things Rosenthal says to watch for in what has become one of the League's "sneaky best" rivalries:
1. This is one of the sneaky best rivalries in the NFL. It's the sixth time they have played since Russell Wilson was drafted in Seattle, and the Panthers always play Seattle tough. It was a huge mental breakthrough for the Panthers to finally beat Seattle this season, when Panthers tight end Greg Olsen caught a late touchdown to win in Seattle. That set up a trend for this Seahawks defense for giving up late, crushing drives in losses. It almost happened again in Minnesota, but Blair Walsh's miss prevented that.
2. In many ways, these teams are mirror images of each other. But Carolina's running game is far superior entering this contest, perhaps the toughest running game to prepare for in the league. Jonathan Stewart (foot) is expected to return for this game, while Marshawn Lynch's status is a mystery for the Seahawks. The threat of Cam Newton running and all the looks Carolina gives leads to defenses playing slow.
3. The Panthers haven't been to the NFC Championship game since Mike Holmgren, Matt Hasselbeck and friends beat them in 2005. To get back, they will have to continue to throw up the seams against Seattle. Kam Chancellor has been vulnerable in coverage at times this season, including against Olsen. Panthers rookie Devin Funchess also came on late in the year. People think of these teams as defense-first, but they are top five in scoring, too. In short: These are complete teams that can win the title. This would make a great Super Bowl, but we're getting it in the quarterfinals.
Unstoppable performer: Michael Bennett can line up at any position on the defensive line for Seattle and wreak havoc. While the Seahawks have the deepest defense in the league, Bennett is the one Carolina's offensive line should be most worried about. Cliff Avril is also coming off his best season.
Tweet Of The Day
Today's "Tweet of the Day" comes from Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, who comments on this past weekend's win and looks ahead to Carolina in a post on his personal website.
More From Around The Web
Here at Seahawks.com, digital media reporter John Boyle explains how resilient the Seahawks have been in the playoffs under coach Pete Carroll, breaks down the snap counts from Sunday's win at Minnesota, and shares five things we learned from Carroll's Monday morning segment with 710 ESPN Seattle.
Coach Pete Carroll explains how cornerback Richard Sherman may have influenced Blair Walsh's missed field goal.
The Seahawks-Vikings game was the NFL's most-watched early Sunday wild-card game ever, with 87 percent of televisions in the Seattle-area tuned into the game.
Here's how the Seahawks reacted on social media to Sunday's wild-card playoff win.
Seahawks punter Jon Ryan tweeted a photo on Monday showing fans how his nose looks after Sunday's face plant in Minneapolis.
Danny O'Neil at 710Sports.com shares three things we learned and three things we're still trying to figure out from the Seahawks' wild-card win over the Vikings.
Sheil Kapadia at ESPN.com looked back at the Week 6 game film between the Seahawks and Panthers and poses five questions ahead of this Sunday's matchup.
Matt Bowen at ESPN.com (Insider) analyzes ways Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson can exploit the Panthers secondary.
Chris Wesseling at NFL.com wonders if the Seahawks can take advantage of the Panthers' secondary this weekend.
At The Washington Post, Jeff Dooley - the Editor in Chief at ProFootballFocus.com - identifies three reasons why the Seahawks are a nightmare matchup for the Panthers.
Travis Pittman at KING 5 News revisits the recent history between the Seahawks and Panthers.
And Matt Pentz at the Seattle Times has an early look at Carolina's potential keys to success.
Temperature don't shake the faithful 12s that traveled to Minnesota to cheer on the Seahawks for the NFC Wild Card matchup against the Vikings.
D*id I miss anything you think is worthy of inclusion? Let me know on Twitter *