Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Panthers Stay Alive with Resounding Win


Jake Delhomme and Muhsin Muhammad showed how badly they want to return to the postseason. Delhomme passed for a career-high four touchdowns, including a pair to Muhammad, to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 37-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a battle of NFC South rivals.

The Panthers (7-8) appeared to be on their way to becoming the fourth straight NFC champion to miss the playoffs the following year. But despite a plethora of injuries, they have won six of their last seven games and remain alive in the playoff race.

Next week, Carolina will host New Orleans (7-8) in a game which could determine a wild card berth. However, both teams will need help. If the St. Louis Rams win their final two games and the Seattle Seahawks , who have already clinched a playoff spot, lose next week, then the Rams win the NFC West and the Seahawks get the wild card. The Minnesota Vikings could clinch the other wild card spot with a win at Washington next week.

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