Seahawks vs Panthers keys to the game

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The Seattle Seahawks (2-3) return home to face the Carolina Panthers (4-0) in a pivotal NFC game. What do the Seahawks need to do after a disappointing collapse in Cincinnati? What do the Panthers need to do to finally beat the Russell Wilson led Seahawks?

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1: Don’t forget that you did good things in Cincinnati. It would be very easy for the Seahawks to want to go for the Panthers in the jugular early in this game, but patience needs to be key. You can’t right the wrong of Cincinnati immediately vs the Panthers. The Seahawks must not forget they did a lot of good things in Cincy and not try too hard. To some that may not make sense, but sometimes simplifying things and not trying too hard can make a difference. Don’t let the frustration from that loss linger over. Chip away at them.

2: A welcome return for Marshawn Lynch in a must win game. While Thomas Rawls had a career day vs the Bengals, Marshawn should not be forgotten about. Rawls will still get his carries and Marshawn Lynch is still one of the best and most intimidating running backs in the NFL. Marshawn has struggled vs the Panthers, but having Marshawn around to take some of the punishment Rawls would be taking from the Panthers defense is good. Rawls is pretty quickly being given a heavy workload and there is no knowing how his body will react to it. Having Marshawn to give him a rest while still contributing will be good for Marshawn and for Thomas Rawls.

3: Respect Carolina’s secondary. In a strange turn of events, it’s the Panthers secondary carrying the Panthers defense and not the front 7. Josh Norman is playing like one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and Russell Wilson will need to understand every play Norman’s intentions or he may try to jump a route and take it for a touchdown. Norman may not be a house hold name, but Russell and the offense surely will know when they study film. Don’t be reckless with the ball especially around Josh Norman.

4: Doug Baldwin, anyone? Doug Baldwin has a perfect target-to-catch ratio on passes deemed catch-able this year. No drops on the year. With the Seahawks offense being inconsistent at times despite showing the ability to move the ball, you can never really go wrong targeting Doug Baldwin it would appear. Doug is still the receiver Russell trusts most, even though many people want that to be Jimmy Graham. While the Seahawks insist on spreading the ball around, perhaps atleast on critical downs Doug should be the #1 option on a lot of plays.

5: Defend Cam Newton the runner. Cam Newton the passer is still an inconsistent player. Cam Newton the runner is dynamic and can help open up the passing game and get his team sparked. For all the good Cam can display, you can get in his head. The Panthers run Cam Newton on average of 10 times a game. In the divisional round playoffs vs the Seahawks, he had 11 rushes for 36 yards. The Seahawks need to prepare for Cam in a similar way that they do for Kaepernick, viewing him as run first and daring him to have a career passing day.

Next: Panthers Keys To Victory