Seahawks versus Panthers: Our staff would be shocked with a Seattle loss
The Seahawks play the Carolina Panthers in week 15. If Seattle doesn’t win, then every one of our staff’s predictions will have been wrong.
The 10-3 Seahawks play the whatever-they-are Panthers in week 15. Seattle should make the playoffs. Carolina will not. But who will win on Sunday? This is what our staff believes will occur. Also, if we haven’t said it already, Go Hawks!
Blake Waldron, contributor
Carolina is still a team in disarray following the dismissal of longtime head coach, Ron Rivera. Seattle is a team with something to prove with last week’s embarrassing outing on national television against the Rams. Following a loss, Russell Wilson is 30-7. Seattle is going to come into Carolina and pound them into oblivion. Despite Jadeveon Clowney being already ruled out, I don’t think it matters who’s on the field for Seattle. I think last week’s loss completely changed the attitude in the locker room and this week their out for blood. I expect Wilson to surpass 300 yards through the air and Chris Carson to bypass 100 yards on the ground. The defense will be able to muster up two turnovers and the Seahawks return home with a win.
Prediction: Seahawks 33 Panthers 10
Colby Patnode, contributor and host of the 12th Man Rising podcast
The Seahawks are in need of a bounceback win after an embarrassing first half against the Rams. Unfortunately, they aren’t at their healthiest as Rashaad Penny is out for the season and Shaquill Griffin, Jadaveon Clowney and Mychal Kendricks all missed practice early in the week.
Carolina is without Cam Newton and appears to be just running out the string in a disappointing season that led to the dismissal of long-time HC Ron Rivera. But these two teams always seem to play close games and Christian McCaffery can win games. But Carolina is the worst run defense in the NFL and we should expect Seattle to take advantage. The X-factor could be Kyle Allen, who is a hot and cold QB, could make things interesting. But ultimately, Chris Carson will dominate this game.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 Panthers 19
Todd Vandenberg, co-expert and site barista
Man, do the Seahawks ever need a win. I’d like to see a dominant performance, but I’ll take a one-point squeaker. The Panthers seem to be the right team at the right time. They fired Ron Rivera and still lost their fifth straight game. That doesn’t mean this will be an easy game, though. Carolina features Christian McCaffrey, who may be the league’s best back. He has more total yards than Chris Carson and DK Metcalf combined. In his only game against the Hawks, he had 237 yards and two scores. Seattle has to contain him, and that’s without Jadeveon Clowney and Mychal Kendricks. Maybe even without Shaquill Griffin.
While the defense has their work cut out for them, so does Russell Wilson. The Panthers defense isn’t very good this year, but Wilson hasn’t been great the past month either. He has to get back to his MVP level. The ‘Hawks can win this one if he plays an average game, but they’d have a much easier time of it if he comes through. I believe he will, and the Hawks will take this one despite their defensive losses.
Prediction: Seahawks 31 Panthers 23
Lee Vowell, co-expert and beer drinker
As you might know, I don’t usually pick the Seahawks to win. This week I am. Seattle is the better team, should be the more motivated unit and has the better quarterback and better coach. The NFL is a coach-quarterback league. If the Seahawks cannot win against the Panthers, even on the road, then Seattle is in big trouble. I think Chris Carson gets more limited than people think, but I think D.K. Metcalf goes off on deep throws from Wilson.
Prediction: Seahawks 28 Panthers 17