Last Sunday the Carolina Panthers were the first team from the NFC South to repeat as division champions when they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-3 in a winner takes all match up at the Georgia Dome. I honestly thought that the Panthers had no chance of pulling off the upset against the Falcons however they proved me and everyone else wrong. I knew that the Panthers would put up a fight against the Falcons but I had no idea that they would come out swinging the way they did last Sunday.
They now take their four game winning streak into the confines of Bank of America Stadium to take on the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Wildcard Round of the playoffs. The Cardinals are down to their third string backup quarterback in Ryan Lindley who is 1-2 as the Cardinals starting signal caller. Not having a legitimate starter at the quarterback position has been the Achilles Heel of the Arizona Cardinals ever since Carson Palmer went down a few months ago against the Rams.
The quarterback position is not the only area of the Cardinals that have suffered this season; they have also suffered injuries to the running back position and lost some key players to injury on the defensive side of the ball as well. The “next man up” mentality has been the battle cry of the Arizona Cardinals this season as they are in pursuit to become the first team in NFL History to play and host the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Having the luxury of future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald is the only bright spot of the Cardinals offense. They will need him to come up big against a Panthers defense that has been playing lights out in the last few ball games. The Panthers defense has only given up 49 points during their four game win streak, they may not be intimidators that they once were a year ago, but they showed up and took care of business when they needed to this season.
My prediction for this ball game is that the Carolina Panthers will win this match up duo to the fact that the Cardinals do not have a legitimate starter at the quarterback position or a solid running game that would take the load off of Ryan Lindley. If the Cardinals defense could not contain the two headed monster of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch what makes you think they will be able to handle the potential three headed monster in Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, and Johnathan Stewart.
Photo Credits By: examiner.com