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.