Pete Carroll can identify with Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers.
Four years ago, the Seahawks were in the same spot: a sub.-500 division winner that won its home playoff game and advanced to the divisional playoff round.
Now the Panthers are trying to do what the Seahawks and five other teams without winning records failed to do over the past decade: Win in the second round.
Since the NFL realigned in 2002, seven teams have made the playoffs at 8-8 or worse, and six have advanced to the divisional round. But none have won.
Like this Carolina-Seattle matchup, each of the five previous games has been a rematch of a game played earlier that season. And, in all but one of those cases, the team that won earlier in the season won the playoff meeting comfortably at home. (Seattle beat Chicago earlier in the 2010 season but lost 35-24 in Chicago in the divisional round.)
As if Carolina didn’t already have enough going against it Saturday.