3 Seahawks that must impose their will against Panthers

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 7-5 Seahawks play a feisty 4-8 Panthers team in Week 14. For Seattle to have any real chance at the postseason this season, they need to beat Carolina. Not that the Panthers will be a pushover because they won’t. But Seattle is the more talented team.

But Seattle needs to play as a team where it matters most: ON defense. An offense, of course, needs cohesion along the offensive line but a great running back or quarterback can help make up the difference when the blocking breaks down. If a defensive line breaks down, a defense can get gashed for explosive plays and get beat. This happened to Seattle in Week 13 against the Raiders.

And the Panthers are a funny team. They have changed their coach, and their quarterback, and traded away the best player all this season, and yet they are somehow even better now than they were earlier in the year. In the Panthers’ last six games, they are 3-3 with one of those losses coming in overtime.

Three Seahawks that need to perform versus the Panthers in Week 14

Tyler Lockett could have a huge game against Carolina

Carolina’s pass defense isn’t atrocious. In fact, though the Panthers generate little as far as pressuring opposing quarterbacks – the Panthers are 22nd in sacks with 25 and are 23rd in sack percentage at 5.7 percent of pass attempts – the secondary has mostly held up. But Carolina doesn’t have a lot of depth in the secondary.

Cornerback Jaycee Horn is a potential star and will likely be matched up against DK Metcalf a bunch. But this should leave Tyler Lockett quite a bit of room on lots of different kinds of routes to do a lot of damage. While Metcalf is more physically imposing, Lockett is more versatile and simply is nearly impossible to cover one on one.

In Lockett’s last two games against Carolina, albeit they were in 2018 and 2019, he has had at least 107 yards receiving and scored twice. This current Panthers team is no better than those versions of Carolina’s team but Lockett is even better. And Lockett should be great on Sunday.