There’s nothing like a win to end rumors about locker room disharmony and hate. The Seattle Seahawks, coming off consecutive losses, didn’t look very good on their road game against the Carolina Panthers. However, a great fourth quarter drive led by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch helped the defending Super Champions walk away with a 13-9 win, hopefully putting them on a new, more positive route.
For the second straight season, the Panthers and the Seahawks clash in North Carolina and struggle to score points. The Panthers didn’t get into the end zone once, instead kicking three field goals. Their defense looked the best it has all season, yet it wasn’t enough in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks, trailing by three points and also waiting for their first touchdown of the game, went on a 80 yard drive that included scrambles and short passes from Wilson, some straightforward running from Marshawn Lynch and eventually a 23-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Luke Wilson with just 47 seconds left on the clock.
The Panthers couldn’t get anything done in that short time span. They began the drive on their own 23, but Cam Newton was sacked twice, as the day ended for the Panthers on their own 8, falling to a 3-4-1 record in the NFC South. That’s still the best in the division, which makes it slightly sad, but there was nothing too positive to take from a game in which the Panthers mustered only 266 yards and Cam Newton couldn’t get his offense going most of the time.
Not that the Seahawks had too much to be proud of. Wilson was held to 199 yards, throwing an interception. The Seahawks struggled on third down. The Panthers were simply worse. The Seahawks weren’t dominated in the trenches unlike their home game against the Cowboys and some of their visit to St. Louis and most importantly, no trick plays surprised them this time. They ran the ball pretty well, going for 119 yards on 26 carries.
With the Panthers, it looks a lot like last season, only with a much more limited offense. Cam Newton still can’t run, finishing with 24 yards on only 12 carries, and managed to complete just 12 passes on 22 attempts, getting picked off once. He also fumbled the ball once and lost it, as both teams were tied when it came to turnovers. Just like last season, the Seahawks simply made one more successful play than the Panthers to get back on the winning horse.
If this is going to be how the Panthers play defense for the rest of the season, the weakness of the NFC South might allow them to come through with another playoff berth, although it’s hard to see how a team that finds it so difficult to get first downs can actually get that far. The Seahawks might not be torn up as the media loves to suggest, but there’s something bad going on with this team. Maybe they’ve simply been studied well in the film rooms, or maybe it’s that hard to define thing called luck that’s escaped them. In any case, for the second time this season, a bad day turned into a happy one due to Russell Wilson forgetting all about a average game and shining on the most important drive.