At 10-4, the Carolina Panthers have every reason to feel good about their chances of reaching the playoffs.

For now, they hold the fifth seed, with the 10-4 New Orleans Saints holding a tie-breaker for the NFC South championship. If the Panthers were in the AFC, they’d pretty much be assured of a spot in the postseason.

‘It’s a tight race in the NFC and we just got to keep winning’

But the Panthers realize there is no relaxing through the final two weeks of the schedule. Why?

“The tight race in the NFC,” Panthers safety Mike Adams told Steve Torre and Bill Lekas. “If we were in the AFC, we would be fine. It’s a tight race in the NFC and we just got to keep winning and let everything fall into place.”

‘We let the media have fun with saying that (Aaron Rodgers) was coming back’

How intense is the Panthers’ focus? Adams insisted that the team never allowed itself to be drawn into the hype of Aaron Rodgers’ return to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. The Panthers wound up beating the Packers, 31-24, as Rodgers threw three touchdowns with three interceptions before returning to the injured-reserve list for the rest of the season. Adams recovered a fumble in the final two minutes to seal the victory.

“The focus was on us,” Adams said. “We let the media have fun with saying that he was coming back and all this other stuff. We just let them have fun with it, but we knew, coming into the game, if we focused on us, we would come out with the win.”

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