Do you know what color uniforms the Panthers will wear against the Cardinals? I know last week you said we were 3-0 in white and 0-2 in black when we've had the choice. Just curious to see if they will wear black and try to break the trend! – Casey in North Wilkesboro, N.C.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Panthers will again wear white Sunday.
Those numbers you referenced are indeed accurate, and Carolina is now obviously 4-0 in white when they're able to pick their uniforms colors as the home team and 0-2 in black. If the Panthers advance to the Super Bowl, they'll wear white as designated by the NFL.
The second half against the Seahawks saw us give up 24 straight points - any cause for concern going against the Cardinals? – Kevin via Twitter
I would have to say no.
While I understand Seattle's comeback attempt being a storyline after the game, I don't understand why some (not you, Kevin) tried to make it THE storyline. Yes, it's the fourth time a team has made a notable rally against the Panthers, but Carolina has won all four games. If the Panthers lose a playoff game after taking a big lead, will it be more devastating because they almost lost previous games in similar fashion? No. It will simply be devastating.
Here's a lengthy version of the Panthers' take on how the Seattle game played out, and here's my two cents. First, to blow a big lead, you have to build a big lead, and scoring 31 points in 19 minutes against the Seahawks is as impressive a feat as I've seen. When Cam Newton was asked about Seattle's comeback, he said he wasn't worried. Why? Because even if the Seahawks had pulled even, he said, he was confident the offense would respond just like it did after the New York Giants' comeback.
At this point, I simply can't cast any doubt on this team's ability to find ways to win, and the bottom line is that style points don't matter one bit this time of year – just scoring the most points matters. I love the NCAA Tournament and the "survive and advance" mantra that N.C. State made some famous in 1983, and it should apply here, too.
With Arizona's talent at receiver, how do the Panthers keep them in check while not getting exploited for big gains? – Jason in Reading, Penn.
The Cardinals do pose a significant challenge with their receivers in large part because of the depth of talent the group possesses. The Cardinals had three receivers catch 50 or more passes and score six or more touchdowns in the regular season (Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd) and had two top 1,000 yards receiving (Fitzgerald, Brown). They also had speedster J.J. Nelson emerge late in the year.
It's a formidable group, but the Panthers have multiple methods at their disposal to keep them relatively under wraps. Cornerback Josh Norman has obviously enjoyed an amazing season and has shut down many a No. 1 receiver, but he especially can't do it alone against this group. Honestly, the secondary's best friend is going to be the front seven, which did a great job disrupting the elusive Russell Wilson for most of the Seattle game and certainly can do the same against the not as-fleet-a-foot Carson Palmer. According to Pro Football Focus, Palmer was pressured 15 times this past weekend while the other three winning quarterbacks were pressured 12 times combined.
If Jared Allen isn't able to play Sunday how much of an impact will that have on the D-line? Or are we better with Kony Ealy? – Luke via Twitter
Allen suffered a fractured foot in the fourth quarter Sunday but played through it. The 12-year veteran wants nothing more than to play in a Super Bowl, but it will be an uphill battle.
But if Allen, who has started 12 consecutive games, isn't available, the Panthers should be fine. Ealy is certainly one of the primary reasons, as is Mario Addison. They're both more explosive than Allen at this point in his career, as is rookie Ryan Delaire, who would likely be active is Allen is not. In addition, a proven quantity in Wes Horton - currently on the practice squad - could come into play.
Allen's value, of course, goes well beyond the numbers he puts up, much like injured cornerback Charles Tillman. The Panthers, however, can successfully endure such a loss if need be – that's what they've done all year.