The 5-5 Seahawks play the 6-4 Panthers on Sunday in Carolina. Whichever team wins the game will greatly improve their playoff chances.
A win by the Seahawks on Sunday in Carolina would mean Seattle would have the advantage over the Panthers for the playoffs. Both teams would be 6-5 and Seattle would have the head-to-head win. But Carolina hasn’t lost at home in 2018 so winning on the road is not going to be easy.
What will happen in Carolina? Here is what our staff thinks.
Kevin Daggett (co-host of the 12th Man Rising podcast)
I’ll admit, Russell Wilson showed glimpses of a great QB last week. But if he had been more accurate, the game would not have been close. The door is now open and it is completely in Seattle’s control to make the playoffs. Let’s see how they respond. In the past this team has stepped up to the plate. There is still a ton of improvement needed but things are looking good if we can stay relatively healthy. Leadership is key to finishing strong. Oh, and lets hope the O-line has a little more discipline and stays put. Geez, that crap (false starts) drives me nuts!
Prediction: Seahawks 31 Panthers 17
Luke Allen (contributor)
Seattle is coming off a season-saving victory against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a game that saw the pass rush finally explode, taking down Rodgers five times. Gosh, I loved seeing Rodgers go down. The offense did not have a great outing against a sub par Green Bay defense, but the rushing attack was again great. Carolina has a better defense than Green Bay, and has a more dynamic offense. Keeping Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey in check will be difficult, but it is not impossible. Seattle runs for 200 yards and does just enough on defense to pick up a huge road win to grab a wildcard spot. For now.
Prediction: Seahawks 28 Panthers 23
Todd Vandenberg (co-expert)
The Seahawks face another tough challenge this week when they travel to Carolina. The Panthers have been pretty good against the run. Then again, they said the same about the Packers. I do think the ‘Hawks’ running back trio will have a tougher time than they have for weeks. Russell Wilson will have to channel his brilliant fourth quarter play for 60 minutes. I also expect several collisions between Bobby Wagner and Cam Newton. Be prepared for earthquakes on the Eastern Seaboard.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 Panthers 23
Lee Vowell (co-expert)
Everyone here has picked the Seahawks to win on the road. I will be the odd one. Carolina hasn’t lost at home and is coming off two straight losses. They understand as much as Seattle does just how important this game is. The fact that the Panthers are good against the run, as Todd pointed out, is the important part. This game will be decided by how well Wilson and the receiving group plays and how much the defense can stop a dynamic Carolina offense. I hope it’s close but I still think Carolina wins at home.
Prediction: Panthers 26 Seahawks 21