Don't be fooled: Panthers are still NFL's best team

Don't let the second half fool you.

Don't think that almost squandering a 31-0 lead and needing an onside kick recovery to secure the win is a sign of what's to come in the NFC Championship game or Super Bowl 50.

It isn't.

The Carolina Panthers are still the NFL's best team even though it didn't look like it for the final two quarters of a 31-24 second-round NFC playoff home victory over Seattle.

The Seahawks' fierce comeback was the combination of an excellent opponent finally getting its act together and Carolina still trying to master the tricky art of keeping and extending a big league while trying to avoid the types of mistakes that can allow an opponent to quickly close the gap.

Nothing more, nothing less.

"It's just finding the balance of being aggressive but being smart," Panthers tight end Greg Olsen told "It's a lot easier said than done. 'Oh, don't get conservative.' You don't want to create the spark or do anything stupid but you do want to continue to move the chains and get first downs and score points.

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