The Arizona Cardinals are taking on the Carolina Panthers in the 2016 NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 24, 2016, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Game time is 6:40 pm EDT and the game is on TV on FOX with announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman along with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
The winner of the 2016 NFC Championship game will be in Super Bowl 50 so the stakes for this NFL playoff game could not be any higher. The Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers are two of the 13 NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl. Which team will win this game and have a chance to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2016?
- Arizona Cardinals +3 at Carolina Panthers (O/U is 48)
The Arizona Cardinals are the road team this week playing in North Carolina this Sunday afternoon and they are a 3 point underdog in the betting odds to beat the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game. The Cardinals are 14-3 this season. The four teams they lost to went a combined 29-21 (.580). The 14 teams the Cardinals beat this season went a combined 97-118 (.451). Overall, the Cardinals played teams with combined winning percentages of .486 this season.
Carson Palmer has a great NFL record of 29-9 as the Cardinals starting QB in the regular season in his career. In the NFL playoffs, Carson Palmer has a record of 1-2, having recorded his first playoff win last week vs Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Palmer’s playoff record is really 1-1 because he was injured on his first throw in his first playoff game and did not return in the game.
The Carolina Panthers are 16-1 this season. The one team they lost to, the Atlanta Falcons, went 8-8 (.500) this season. The 16 teams the Panthers beat this season went a combined 118-145 (.449). Overall, the Panthers played teams with combined winning percentages of .452. That is easily the weakest schedule that the four remaining NFL playoff teams have played this season.
Panthers QB Cam Newton has a lifetime record of 45-32-1 as a starting quarterback in the NFL during the regular season. In the playoffs, though, Cam Newton is 2-2 as a starting QB and he has turned the ball over seven times in four games but he did not turn the ball over in last week’s win over the Seahawks.
The over/under for the game is 48 points. The Panthers averaged a NFL best 31 points scored per game while the Cardinals also averaged 31 points scored per game this season. The Panthers defense gave up 19 points per game while the Cardinals defense gave up 20 points per game.
This NFC Championship game has a ton of juice this week because it features the two highest scoring NFL teams this season in the Panthers and Cardinals. Add in the fact that neither the Panthers or Cardinals have ever won the Super Bowl and the stakes for this NFL playoff game are through the roof.
Which team will advance and have the chance to win their first Super Bowl? Last year the Panthers beat the Cardinals, 27-16, in the playoffs but Carson Palmer was injured and did not play in the game. The winner of this game will likely be the team whose quarterback plays the best.
Will that be Carson Palmer or Cam Newton? Tune in late Sunday afternoon to find out in what should be a great and highly entertaining NFC Championship game.