4 Key Matchups to Watch for Against the Panthers

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Sep 4, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger (60) prepares to snap the football next to guard J.R. Sweezy (64) during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 36-16. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Offensive Line vs. Carolina Defensive Line

The Panthers defensive line may not be what it was in 2013 with Greg Hardy (a.k.a. the “Kraken,”) as they lead the league in sacks with 60. But this D-line still has plenty of talent and boasts a better statistical unit than the Hawks.

DE Charles Johnson comes in with 8.5 sacks; DE Mario Addison has 6.5 and ends Kony Ealy and Wes Horton combine for 7.  The Hawks O-line has been their usual self all year, playing at an average level, doing just enough to keep QB Russell Wilson alive. Pro Football Focus ranks them 17th in pass blocking and 18th in run blocking.

As atrocious as the Arizona offense was against Carolina, QB Ryan Lindley was sacked four times on Saturday, twice by Johnson. The Seahawks will be much improved at center as Max Unger is set to return to the field, but will have his hands full dealing with DT’s Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei.

Seahawks O-line — 42 sacks (6th most)

Panthers D-Line — 40 (13th)