The Seahawks pulled out an improbable victory on the road over the Panthers. Good thing they paid no attention to my script for victory.
The Seattle Seahawks won yet another of their every-game-is-a-must-win contests on the road. They downed the Carolina Panthers on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal as time expired to win a nail-biter. The kick was only possible after another huge Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett connection, this time for 43 yards. Lockett’s extension looks more like a bargain every week.
Seattle won despite running for just 76 yards, their lowest total since they lost to the Bears in Chicago. It’s the first time the Seahawks have been held under 150 yards since their third game, when they beat the Dallas Cowboys. This was also the first win of the season for Seattle that saw Wilson pass for over 300 yards.
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While that statement is true, it’s a huge undersell. This is the first time all season the Hawks signal-caller has thrown for over 242 yards. It’s the sixth time he threw zero picks and at least two touchdowns. More importantly, it’s the first time this season he’s led the Seahawks on three scoring drives in the fourth quarter. He wasn’t perfect, but he was as close as he needed to be. He’s definitely the biggest reason Seattle came out of Carolina with a win.
For those of you who read my article imploring the Seahawks to run the ball to win, I’ve never been more happy to be wrong. Throwing for over 300 yards was exactly what Seattle had to do. I will say that Seattle’s 28 carries is much closer to the 29 attempt average of Panthers conquerors than the 19 carries of their victims. Chris Carson had an extremely loud 55 yards. Oh, and he did this:
Seahawks ran enough to get Panthers to bite
The Seahawks ran the ball enough to keep the Panthers focused on stopping the run. Carolina was just as vulnerable to the air attack as their stats showed. Tyler Lockett and David Moore both went off for over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. Seattle ran enough to keep the Panthers off balance, and went to the air to win the game.
On the flip side, Cam Newton had a fine game, with the exception of a great interception by Bradley McDougald. Newton was trouble with a capital T, as he always is. Christian McCaffrey had a huge game with over 100 yards rushing and 100 receiving. This time I will say I told you so. McCaffrey’s success has so little impact on the Panthers wins and losses, I’m dumbfounded. I’m also very glad.
Happily the Seahawks made the big plays when they needed to, and didn’t listen to me screaming at the TV to run the ball from the 10 yard line. Happily they have one of the NFL’s best coaches in Pete Carroll, who in turn knew he had one of the league’s best kickers in Seabass. I’m sure every single 12 said a prayer of thanks that Janikowski was kicking, not he-who-shall-not-be-named-the-kicker from 2017.
This was a classic Seahawks win. I hope to make another erroneous prediction next week for Seattle’s winning script. I’ll make an early call, just to get my mistake out of the way. Seabass kicks five field goals and the defense takes two balls to the house for a 29-23 win. There, that’s out of the way. I feel like I’ve just won a huge game on the road.