The Seahawks defeated the Panthers in week 15 to move to 11-3. But they couldn’t have done it without running back Chris Carson.
The Seahawks beat the Panthers 30-24 in week 15 and moved one step closer to the postseason. As they do with every win, though, Seattle managed to keep their opponent within arm’s reach of coming back to win. Seattle led 30-10 with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter but then things got tense. Still, Seattle won but why?
One big reason was that Chris Carson was great as he needed to be. Carson is going to have to carry the load the rest of the season. With Rashaad Penny being injured in week 14, Carson was left as the only good and proven back Seattle has. But this is how it should be because Carson has been the best Seahawks running back for most of the last three years.
On Sunday, he ran over and through the Panthers for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was on 24 carries and he averaged 5.5 yards a rush. On his first touchdown run, Carson made a decision that few backs can make. He could either try to juke the defensive back trying to keep him from scoring or he could try to punish that DB and score. Carson scored.
But Russell Wilson was good too and so was Tyler Lockett. Wilson finished 20 of 26 for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lockett was targeted 9 times and caught 8 of them for 120 yards and a touchdown. Lockett also had an important first down catch with time beginning to run out on the Panthers late in the fourth quarter. It was awesome to see Lockett come back from a few off weeks and be so productive.
What held Seattle back at times was its odd offensive play calls. On an important 3rd down for Seattle late in the game, Brian Schottenheimer chose to throw a low-percentage sideline pass 20 yards downfield that went incomplete. Seattle punted.
The Seahawks defensive calls late in the game were worse. Unfortunately, Bobby Wagner left the game late but walked off. Hopefully, he will be OK for next week. Without Wagner, however, Seattle looked lost and allowed the Panthers to score their last touchdown in a bit over a minute and go 80 yards. This will be unacceptable for the rest of the year in games Seattle has to win.
Seattle only got 3 quarterback hits and just one sack, but their pressure was timely and forced Panthers quarterback to throw 3 interceptions, two to linebacker K.J. Wright. For a defense without Jadeveon Clowney, Mychal Kendricks and Shaquill Griffin, maybe they played better than they should have anyway.
Still, at the end, the Seahawks got the victory and moved to 11-3 and play the Cardinals next week. Seattle should be healthier for the final two weeks and make the playoffs. That is what you want to do at the beginning of any season and Seattle is meeting that goal.