Panthers playoff seeding scenarios: Carolina can still get No. 2 seed in NFC

This scenario is slightly more likely for Carolina, given Minnesota is such a strong favorite against Chicago. The division-champion Panthers would overtake the losing Rams for the No. 3 seed and bump the Saints down to the No. 5 seed as a wild card.

In this scenario, the Panthers would host either the Seahawks or the Falcons in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Atlanta simply needs to win in order to grab that No. 6 seed. Seattle needs a win and an Atlanta loss in order to take it.

If the Panthers get the No. 4 seed or No. 5 seed for the NFC playoffs, they will play either the Saints or the Rams in the wild-card round. There is no scenario in which Carolina would host Los Angeles, but the Panthers would make the trip to LA if the Saints win and the Rams lose in Week 17. If the Panthers get the No. 4 seed, they’re guaranteed to host the Saints in the wild-card round.

According to SN NFL writer Alex Marvez, assuming it doesn’t get a first-round bye, Carolina should prefer to stay in the No. 5 seed as a wild card and hope for a road game in Los Angeles.

For now, the Dawgs feel only joy and the excitement of unbridled opportunity. But as Kirby Smart knows from Alabama, even the ultimate goal of a national title would bring a new burden of expectations.

After the teams combined for more than 1,000 yards of offense, the Bulldogs won when linebacker Lorenzo Carter blocked a 27-yard field goal to start the second overtime. Georgia tailback Sony Michel ran into the end zone for the winning score two plays later.

Our kids were so resilient, Smart said. They never stopped chopping wood. They kept fighting. They believed.

Georgia’s players and coaches might have been the only ones who thought they had a chance to come back from a 17-point deficit in the second half. The Sooners, with Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and their high-flying spread offense, dominated the first half. Georgia’s defense didn’t touch Mayfield in the first quarter, and the Sooners piled up 360 yards of offense in the first half, averaging nine yards per play.

Mayfield, who battled flu-like symptoms earlier in the week, was spectacular in the first 30 minutes. He threw for 200 yards with a touchdown and even caught a 2-yard score on a pass from receiver CeeDee Lamb to give OU a 31-14 lead.

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