As a result, the fourth-seeded Panthers (7-8-1) will host the fifth-seeded Arizona Cardinals on Wild Card Weekend (Saturday). And who knows, Carolina might even be favored to advance to Round 2 of the NFC playoffs.
Carolina enters the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, while Arizona has dropped two straight and four of its last six.
More importantly, though, is the state of their quarterback situation: Will the Cardinals ride third-stringer Ryan Lindley, fourth-stringer/rookie Logan Thomas or No. 2 QB Drew Stanton, who recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to fight an infection?
Odds are it won’t be Stanton … and Lindley just threw his first-ever touchdown pass on Sunday (against the 49ers).
Frankly, it might not matter to a surging Panthers defense that held a formidable Falcons offense to three points and 288 total yards. Oh, and the Carolina defense also tallied two pick-sixes off Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan — with Roman Harper (31 yards) and Tre Boston (84 yards) netting the return TDs.
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