5 key players the Seattle Seahawks must keep quiet in Week 3 vs. Panthers

Seattle secondary hopes to look better against a struggling Carolina passing offense.
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The Seattle Seahawks are now 1-1. They might not have gotten there the way many might have expected, however. 12s might have thought Seattle would beat the Rams and lose to the Lions if 1-1 was going to be the record.

Seattle, though, based on how well they played in Week 2, have a real chance to go 3-1 before the team's bye week in Week 5. The Seahawks play a Carolina Panthers team in Week 3 still trying to find its way and a Giants team in Week 4 that might be without Saquon Barkley and hasn't played up to expectations so far.

But Carolina proved to be a dangerous team in 2022 when Seattle looked like the better team, too. Seattle lost to the Panthers last year. And Seattle could lose to Carolina again in 2023 as well if Seattle doesn't keep the following five players in check.

Seattle Seahawks must keep Hayden Hurst quiet

The Seahawks aren't great against tight ends and haven't been for some years now. Against the Lions in Week 2, rookie Sam LaPorta caught 5 of his 6 targets for 63 yards and averaged 12.6 yards per catch. The number of receptions isn't overly worrisome except for LaPorta averaging a first down every time he caught the ball.

In Week 1, Rams tight end Tyler Higbee had 3 catches but he averaged 16.3 yards a catch. That's not good. The issue is that opposing teams aren't using their tight ends to dump the ball off too because Seattle has the wide receivers blanketed, but instead opposing teams know their tight ends can pick up chunk yards and use them to put them in scoring position.

Hayden Hurst has bounced around the league a bit since he was drafted in 2018. The Panthers are the fourth team he's played for. In two years he had at least 52 receptions or more, but only one year did he have more than 3 touchdowns. My point is that he is capable of being decent but only if the defense he is facing isn't good at covering tight ends. Seattle has allowed the fourth-most yards to opposing tight ends through two games in 2023 so Hayden might have the opportunity to have a productive game.