The Carolina Panthers navigated their best season in franchise history, going 15-1 in the process. Now their reward for such a feat is to go head-to-head with the reigning two-time NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.
Furthermore if that wasn't enough, star running back Marshawn Lynch, who has been sidelined since week 10 after undergoing hernia surgery in November, has announced that he is ready to go. In typical Marshawn fashion, Lynch broke the news without much fuss, simply sending ESPN's Kenny Mayne a two word text "I'm ready", as reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
In his eight years in the league Lynch has garnered 9,112 career yards in the regular season, and 910 in the post season according to NFL.com.
In what may be Lynch's last ride with the Seattle Seahawks since be acquired from the Bills in 2010, Beast Mode finds himself returning to team that more closely resembles the juggernaut that rampaged through the NFC last season, rather than the team that struggled earlier this season against the Packers, Rams, Cardinals and aforementioned Panthers. Although Seattle barely escaped Minnesota with a victory last weekend, the Legion of Boom still managed to hold the Vikings to three field goals and zero touchdowns.
Per ESPN, the Seahawks are the #1 defense against the rush and #2 against the pass, and Lynch's return will surely be boon for a team looking to return to the game's brightest stage.