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If Panthers can’t beat Jets, they don’t deserve playoffs

If the Carolina Panthers beat the New York Jets on Sunday, life returns to normal. The 31-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints fades into the distance. Another Saints game looms, but this time at home. The Panthers would be 10-4 and sitting pretty in the NFC playoff race.

But this is a game the Panthers can’t afford to lose. And shouldn’t lose. Although the Jets have won some big games this season, the fact remains they are 1-5 on the road and have a rookie quarterback who is tied for the NFL lead with 20 interceptions. If you can’t beat a team like that at home, you don’t really deserve a playoff berth.

This should help a little. On Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., I will be selling and signing books at The Charlotte Observer building (600 South Tryon Street) as part of a newspaper event that will also include author signings by Kathleen Purvis and Ken Garfield. Come on by.