Panthers are going to be tough to beat at home in playoffs

DeAngelo WilliamsThanks to John Kasay’s 42-yard field goal in the closing seconds of their 33-31 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers won the NFC South Division and secured the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

After 45 minutes of play at the Superdome, the Panthers were already being fitted for their NFC South Championship T-shirts. But the Saints scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to take a 31-30 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Carolina then drove into New Orleans’ territory and Kasay eventually knocked through the game winner.

With the No. 2 seed comes a first round bye for the Panthers and more importantly, home field advantage throughout the playoffs unless they meet the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The Panthers were 8-0 at home this year and outscored opponents 234-111.

This is an incredibly dangerous team as it is, but the Panthers seem to be even deadlier at home. And while that could be said for most teams, the notion seems to especially apply to Carolina.

Come playoff time, anything can happen. But it’s hard to fathom that the Vikings, Cardinals, Falcons, Eagles or Cowboys can march into Carolina and contain the Panthers’ explosive running game – or Steve Smith. John Fox’s team is going to be dangerous in January.

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