Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers Preview
1:00 p.m. Sunday November 25, 2018
The Carolina Panthers (6-4) and the Seattle Seahawks (5-5) will square off tomorrow at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte at 1:00 p.m. This game will be an important one for both squads, as both are battling for the same wildcard playoff spots. The Panthers currently hold one of the two wildcard spots, while the Seahawks are just on the outside looking in with the 7th seed.
Both teams have been trending in different directions these last few weeks with the Panthers coming off two losses in Pittsburgh and Detroit, while the Seahawks played extremely well on the road in a tough loss to the Rams, and beat the Packers last week. Seattle’s defense has improved greatly over the past few weeks and have held opponents to just 17.5 points per game over the last four games. The Seahawks have also been rolling on offense as well, recording at least 150 rushing yards in the last seven games. Russell Wilson also completed his 6th game of the season last week with a passer rating over 100, while passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
While I would like to believe the Panthers will get back to their winning ways this Sunday, I just don’t see it happening. Even though the Panthers are extremely tough to pick against at home (they are 10-0 in their last 10 home games), the Seahawks ALWAYS play the Panthers tough. To that point, the Seahawks have won their last three games in Charlotte. The game between these two teams always seems to be a low-scoring, defensive battle that can go either way. It just so happens it usually plays in favor of the Seahawks.
It also seems unreal to bet against the Panthers to lose a third game in a row with all the talent they possess on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Cam Newton bounced back from a tough game against the Steelers with 357 yards and three touchdowns last week against the Lions, and rookie receiver D.J. Moore had a monstrous game with 157 yards and a touchdown. The key this week will be running back Christian McCaffrey and how the Panthers utilize him. Newton will need to find him out of the backfield with short, dump-off passes, instead of McCaffrey getting too many hand-offs up the middle. Let McCaffrey do his thing in the open field and the Panthers will have the best chance of success.
I believe this game will follow the usual pattern and be a defensive game all four quarters. Newton will throw and run for a touchdown each, but Seattle will make the big plays at the opportune times to win this game. Like I already mentioned, I hope I am wrong, but I predict the Seahawks to take this one in Charlotte 17-14 and keep their momentum going. This will make the playoff race really interesting with just five weeks left in the season, but I do expect the Panthers to get back to taking care of business after this game and secure a wildcard spot at the end of the season.