Black & Blue Huddle, Week 15: Once rivals, Seahawks, Panthers head in different directions

Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 17: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers shakes hands with Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks after the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Carolina Panthers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 31-24. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(AP) — Not too long ago the Carolina Panthers viewed the Seattle Seahawks as their biggest rivals in the NFC.

But now the franchises are headed in vastly different directions.

The Seahawks have posted eight straight winning seasons under coach Pete Carroll.

The Panthers fired coach Ron Rivera last week. The Seahawks will try to clinch a playoff berth Sunday for the seventh time in eight seasons. They need a win coupled with a Packers, Rams or Vikings loss.

The Panthers are relegated to the role of spoiler. They have dropped five in a row heading into the game against Seattle.

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