The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks know all about division winners with a losing record advancing to this round of the playoffs. They did it in 2010, and now they host the Panthers, who have won five in a row, including last week's wild-card victory over Arizona.
Defense has been the calling card for both sides, especially Seattle in the second portion of the schedule.
Looking to become the first defending champion to win a playoff game since New England in January 2006, the Seahawks led the NFL in total defense and points allowed for the second straight season. They also led in scoring defense for a third straight season and Seattle did not allow any fourth-quarter points in the past six games.
The Panthers have been strong defensively, too, ranking second to Seattle in points allowed (11.8) and yards yielded (238.2) since Dec. 1.