Seattle Seahawks must keep Derrick Brown quiet
Don't look at Derrick Brown's sack totals in his career. Sure, in 2022 he had just one sack (and he has one this year so far, too), but he can get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Last year, Brown had 40 total pressures so while he might not always be getting home, he definitely makes a quarterback feel hurried quite a bit. Plus, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Brown had an excellent grade of 77.9 in pass rush last year.
But Brown truly excels against the run and can eat up blockers in the middle of the line. He graded at 80.6 in run defense last year. In Week 1 of 2023, Brown had 8 tackles from his defensive tackle position and they were all solo tackles. This meant he was clearing blockers off him and getting stops at the line.
While the Panthers will be missing cornerback Jaycee Horn in Week 3 due to an injury, Seattle is going to have to be able to run the ball in order to win. Simply thinking Geno Smith can drop back and throw and lead Seattle to victory would be a mistake. Luvu and Brown would likely eventually shut that down. To run the ball well, Seattle is going to have to be able to block Brown in the middle, meaning left guard Damien Lewis and center Evan Brown, especially, are going to have to have excellent games.
Seattle should beat the Panthers as the Seahawks are the more experienced team and have greater talent. But if the Panthers are allowed to get great games from Luvu and Brown and they eat clock offensively with efficient passing from Young and good running with Sanders then Carolina can beat Seattle. Starting 1-2 is not ideal for a Seahawks team hoping to make the playoffs.