The Panthers jumped out to an absurd 31-0 halftime lead and in the second half, Seattle showed that they weren't just going to fade quietly into the night. The Seahawks left plenty of points on the field in the first half, when they elected to not attempt a 35 yard field goal in an effort to go for it on 4th down to go for a touchdown. When the game was 31-21, that loomed large because it would have been 31-24 if they had just kicked that field goal. It is an easy second guess, because when you are down 31-0, kicking a field goal does seem rather useless. However, it would have made a huge difference in their comeback efforts at the end of the game. It came to an onside-kick for Seattle and they were unable to come up with it. The final score was Carolina 31, Seattle 24.
The Panthers came out flat in the second half and held on for life. It was strange to watch, since they were so dominant in the first half. The NFC championship next week will be the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America stadium in Carolina. The Cardinals barely escaped the Packers last week in Arizona, so they have a tall task in front of them in the Panthers. Something tells me that the Panthers won't get out to a 31-0 lead against the Cardinals, so they must play a full 60 minute game as opposed to the 30 minute game they played on Sunday. In the first half, Cam Newton seemed unstoppable. In the second half, Newton was clearly flustered and didn't play nearly as well. It will be interesting to see how he plays in the NFC championship game.