Prediction No. 2 - Andy Dalton will start for the Panthers and make them more dangerous
Panthers rookie quarterback Bryce Young hurt his ankle on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. He missed practice on Wednesday. If I were in charge of the Panthers (and good for them I am not because they would likely never win a game), I wouldn't play Young against the Seahawks. Carolina isn't a playoff team and Young is still finding his way in the NFL, so why risk further injury to a guy they should have as their starting QB for 10 years to come?
Ankle injuries can be extremely tricky, of course, but add to that the fact that the Panthers have an experienced backup quarterback in Andy Dalton and that's just another reason to rest Young. Dalton ranks 24th all-time in NFL history for passing yards. He is far from a perfect quarterback, but he has been a productive pro.
Plus, he knows he can beat the current iteration of Seattle's defense. Last year Dalton played for the Saints and he got to start against Seattle in Week 5. Dalton wasn't explosive against the Seahawks but he was efficient and he completed 16 of 24 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown and an interception. Of course, the Saints ran all over the Seahawks that day and gained 235 yards on the ground.
Carolina could beat Seattle the same way New Orleans did last year in the Saints 39-32 victory. Seattle has been better through two games of 2023 against the run, but that is such a small sample size that we can't really be sure the run defense is better. Seattle also still struggles with allowing completions over the middle to keep drives alive. Dalton has the experience to take what the defense gives him and he could lead New Orleans to an efficient, but not exciting, win.