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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Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Seahawks need Poona Ford to be great in Week 14

Ford is in a contract year and will probably be re-signed by the Seahawks. Seattle seems to really like him and they should. Ford is capable of greatness. The problem this year is while he has been great at times, he has been consistently good. For instance, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Ford in the last four weeks has had the following overall grades: 74.0 (good!), 40.8 (terrible!), 59.4 (average), and 61.0 (slightly better than average).

But Ford has also set or likely will set career highs in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits in 2022. But he is also a key part of the defensive line that has struggled mightily against the run the past several weeks and if the Panthers are going to try to do anything, it is run the ball.

Carolina will start Sam Darnold at quarterback. He was solid against a good Broncos defense in Week 12 but Darnold has always struggled with being decent one week followed by many weeks of being dismal. Let’s hope he is dismal in Week 14.

But even if Darnold is bad, Carolina could still steal this game by running the ball. Seattle has allowed 155.3 rushing yards on average a game this season, 31st in the NFL. The Panthers average 4.4 yards a carry, 16th in the league. They are 17th in the league in rushing yards per game at 116.8. While those numbers might not jump out at you, Seattle has made lesser teams (like the Buccaneers) look brilliant running the ball lately. And for Seattle to stop Carolina on Sunday, Poona Ford needs to be a force.