The Carolina Panthers will play at home against the Arizona Cardinals in the opening game of the 2015 NFL playoffs as they look to prove that they’re better than their record.
The Carolina Panthers managed to back into the playoffs with a 7-8-1 record after winning their fourth consecutive game against the Atlanta Falcons, 34-3. They will face the Arizona Cardinals at home in their playoff opener.
The Panthers were underdogs when they played the Falcons on the road, but quarterback Cam Newton showed that his car accident is completely behind him by leading the Panthers to their second consecutive NFC South title.
The Panthers defense has been on fire as of late and looked like its 2013 form, allowing just 43 points in their last four games.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are reeling with a plethora of injuries after having the best record in the NFL not too long ago.
The Cardinals have lost two games in a row since losing second-string quarterback Drew Stanton to a knee injury that is expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.
Third-stringer Ryan Lindley has been unable to pull a Cardale Jones and has struggled with two touchdown passes and four interceptions in his last two starts.
Running back Andre Ellington being out doesn’t help matters either, and many key defensive players have been out for a long time.
Although the Cardinals started fast, they will be unable to overcome a red-hot Cam Newton and Panthers defense. Don’t let the Panthers’ record fool you. This game will be played on Saturday, Jan. 3.
Prediction: Panthers 20, Cardinals 14