4 Key Matchups to Watch for Against the Panthers

3 of 4

Dec 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) tackles San Francisco 49ers cornerback Kenneth Acker (38) for a loss during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 17-7. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin vs. Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart was not expected to have a great game against the Cardinals stingy run defense.

But when the day was over, he finished with 24 carries for 123 yards and a score. He gashed the Cards defense with hard-fought yards and plenty of missed tackles. If the Seahawks hope to have better luck against the former Oregon standout then they will have to come out strong with the NFL’s fifth best MLB, in Bobby Wagner, and the league’s sixth and 11th ranked outside linebackers in K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin.

The Seahawks linebacking core boasts the league’s third best rushing defense in the regular season while the Panthers rushing attack comes in at number seven.

Stewart — 809 yards rushing; 4 total touchdowns

Wagner — 104 combined tackles; 2 sacks

Wright — 107 combined tackles; 2 sacks; 3 forced fumbles

Irvin — 37 combined tackles; 6.5 sacks; 1 forced fumble; 2 interceptions