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Chris Johnson (football, running back)

NFC championship game preview: It's been let up and go for the Panthers

NFC championship game preview: It's been let up and go for the Panthers

Cruise control is killing Carolina.

The Panthers, who play host to Arizona at 3:40 p.m. PST Sunday in the NFC championship game that will be broadcast on FOX, are the best team in football through three quarters . . . but then they tend to coast.

They built a 31-0 lead in the first half against Seattle last Sunday in the divisional playoffs, but the Seahawks answered with 24 points in the second half.

That’s a trend for the Panthers, who had leads of 17, 23, 28 and 31 points in other games this season, and saw each of them finish as one-score games.

“Guys were playing with their butts tight, coaches with their butts...

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