Seahawks got off to a slow start in the first quarter
Let me start with a few early impressions. Boy oh boy, I was glad to see Boye back on the field.
The Seahawks stalled on their first drive with a three-and-out. Michael Dickson nailed a 51-yard punt, and the coverage team dropped the Panthers for a three-yard loss. Unfortunately, Carolina mounted an 11-play drive. Eventually, they had to settle for a field goal. The Seahawks looked off in the early going. As we've seen too often, they seemed to react a hair too late on too many plays. Still, falling behind 3-0 is hardly the end of the world.
On their second drive, Kenneth Walker turned a six-yard loss into a seven-yard gain. The Seahawks added 15 yards on a facemask penalty. Two quick Geno Smith passes, and Seattle had the ball at the Panthers 31. Walker got stuffed on third down, as the line got no push at all. On fourth and one, K-9 got the first down by about two millimeters. Sorry, 12s, I'm in Canada.
The Seahawks missed on a deep ball to DK Metcalf in the end zone. There was a bit of shoving before the ball arrived, but Metcalf couldn't quite get the handle on the ball. A three-yard run by Walker set up third down. Geno scrambled away from trouble but was clearly locked in on the right side of the field. Tyler Lockett was well-covered, and the ball bounced off his hands as he had to dive for the ball.
Sure, throwing to number 16 is always a smart play. Well, nearly always. The problem is that Jake Bobo was open by at least five yards on the other side of the field. Yes, it would have been across the field, but Bobo was cutting toward the middle, and Smith certainly has the arm to easily make that throw. He would prove that later in the game Jason Myers nailed the field goal, though, so we had a tie game, 3-3.
The Seahawks pass rush came alive as they dropped Panthers QB Andy Dalton for an eight-yard sack, their second of the first quarter. Jarran Reed was the first man there, but Dre'Mont Jones and Jordyn Brooks were there for the party, too. Seattle ball after the fair catch at their own 19. A quick first down on a 16-yard pass to Lockett was followed by a nine-yard pickup by Noah Fant after some nifty footwork by Geno Smith in the pocket. Zach Charbonnett gained seven yards to take the ball to the Panthers 49. And that ended the first quarter. Seattle was moving the ball well on play-action passes and looked much better on this drive. We ended the first 15 minutes at three all.