Panthers in the Power Rankings: Wild Card Playoffs

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Here's where the Panthers stand in various power rankings following their loss to the Falcons.

NFL.com

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 7th

NFC South: Saints 5th, Panthers 8th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 25th
This week's opponent: Saints 5th

Beyond the numbers: Elliot Harrison states that the Panthers are almost as inconsistent as their NFC South rivals in Atlanta. One week Cam Newton's up, the next he's down. But with that said, that means this week he'll dominate.

ESPN.com

Panthers rank: 7th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 7th

NFC South: Saints 4th, Panthers 7th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 24th
This week's opponent: Saints 4th

Beyond the numbers: ESPN notes that the Panthers played the fifth-hardest schedule this season and proved that you don't need to be pass-heavy to win. Carolina went 11-5 while averaging 192 passing yards per game, the fewest by an 11-5 team since the 2015 Vikings.

CBS Sports

Panthers rank: 7th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 5th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 7th, Falcons 10th, Buccaneers 24th
This week's opponent: Saints 6th

Beyond the numbers: Pete Prisco isn't impressed with the Panthers' defense of late, allowing nearly 700 yards passing in the last two games.

Sporting News

Panthers rank: 7th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 4th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 7th, Falcons 8th, Buccaneers N/A
This week's opponent: Saints 6th

Beyond the numbers: Sporting News only ranks the playoff bound teams, which includes Carolina. When the Panthers had a chance to claim the NFC South and move up in the seeding, they laid an egg.

Bleacher Report

Panthers rank: 6th (4th in NFC) 
Previous rank: 6th

NFC South: Saints 5th, Panthers 6th, Falcons 10th, Buccaneers 25th
This week's opponent: Saints 5th

Beyond the numbers: Chris Simms thinks the Panthers defense is going to be tough to handle for any team in the postseason. The problem is that New Orleans thwarted Cam Newton in both meetings this season.

View the top photos from Panthers at Falcons by team photographer Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez.

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