CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In some ways, it’s a tale of two unlikely contenders emerging as the NFC’s sole survivors.
The Carolina Panthers (16-1) are set to host the Arizona Cardinals (14-3) this weekend in the NFC Championship game.
After putting up 31 points in the first half against Seattle on Sunday, the Panthers barely hung on to slip away with a 31-24 victory.
“We have to find a way to complete a full game of football,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton told reporters after the game. “We have been known to take our foot off the throttle and we have to find that killer instinct.”
The Panthers have won 12 straight games at home. You can bet that’s a statistic Arizona knows well.
Arizona managed an overtime victory by leaning on the back of their longtime playmaker Larry Fitzgerald. The 32-year-old was given the ball on the last two plays and that decision resulted in a game-winning touchdown.
Their trip to the NFC Championship didn’t come easy…
“It was a roller coaster on the sidelines,” said Cardinals coach Bruce “You’ve just got to keep all your emotions in check and go to the next play. No matter what happened on the last play, you’ve got to go good, bad or ugly on the next play, and that’s basically what our football team did.”
For Carolina, this is their fourth time to play in the NFC Championship game. It’s the Panthers first time to host.
Carolina hosts Arizona at 6:40 ET Sunday.