The Seahawks discover the end zone in the third
At least the second half started well. The Hawks had tight coverage on Panthers receivers and forced a three-and-out. Taking over at their own 23, Smith dropped a dime to Colby Parkinson. Who dropped the ball, literally and figuratively?
Luckily, the Panthers were flagged for illegal contact, so the Seahawks got the first down anyway just inside their own 29. Walker ran into a wall on first, Metcalf picked up six yards on second down, and on third and three, Parkinson hauls the ball in for the first. Smith scrambled about 80 yards, threw across his body on a dead run, and found DK Metcalf for 11 yards over the middle.
On the very next play, Walker put a ridiculous spin move on a pass in the flat and picked up 18 yards. Deejay Dallas came in on a wildcat play and picked up eight yards. On second down, he lost a yard. Third and three, no one picked up the pass rush and Smith had to throw the ball away. Jason Myers was out to prove he was worth every penny of that contract and nailed his fifth field goal of the day. Seahawks 15, Panthers 13.
The Panthers connected with the tight end on second down, then Andy Dalton hit D.J. Chark on a perfect strike for 28 yards. Michael Jackson had great coverage on the play, so I can't fault him this time. Chark basically pulled off a Tyler Lockett, so there wasn't really anything Jackson could have done better. On third and 11, the Hawks unleashed some crazy pressure on Dalton, and he had to rush his throw. Carolina missed the 54-yard field goal try - haha, you don't have Jason Myers - and it was Seattle's ball.
On first down, Walker cut back from a wall of Panthers and picked up a couple of yards. Or would have, except there were four flags thrown on the play. Yes, four. Of course, both calls were on the Hawks. The holding call on Parkinson was declined, but they got Metcalf for a blindside block. So it was first and 25. Hey, credit to DK, it wasn't a cheap shot. It was a good call, but he was close to making a good play. Not that it mattered, as Smith hit Walker down the sideline for 36 yards on the very next play. First down Seattle at the Carolina 16.
So of course, flags were flying at the snap on the ensuing play. Let's make it first and 15, sure. Walker weaved through about half a dozen defenders to pick up five yards. We had another Noah Fant sighting for 12 yards, and it was first and goal at the four. So far it looks like a boom year for Fant. K-9 picked up two yards, then on second down another two to get the ball just inside the one. Hey, guess what? The Hawks ran the ball at the goal line, and K-9 finally got the first Hawks touchdown of the game. 22-13, Seattle.
On the Panthers ensuing drive, Devon Witherspoon made two nice plays. Well, he would have, except he was called for pass interference. Eh....okay, it was past five yards, but really, zebra? The 12s did their best to disrupt the Panthers, but Dalton hit Theilen for 25 yards and the first down. The 12s got their revenge as they forced two straight false starts on the Panthers.
Of course, they just got louder on third down. Miles Sanders was too anxious to make a big play and forgot to catch the ball on first and 20. All credit to Andy Dalton, as Big Red picked up fifteen yards on a strike to his tight end. He then connected with Thielen on a little crossing route. The former tryout camp signee took the ball all the way to the Seattle one-yard line. And that was the end of the third quarter. The score was still Seattle 22, Panthers 13.