Seahawks Overcome Injuries, Use Fast Start to Dispel Panthers
Though players continue to drop like flies due to injury, the Seahawks scored touchdowns on their first three offensive to build a comfortable early lead and withstood a late rally to hold on for a 30-24 victory over the Panthers.
With the win, Seattle moved to 7-1 on the road for the first time in franchise history and improved to 11-3 on the season, keeping pace with San Francisco in the rugged NFC West and staying in contention for a first-round bye.
Here are four quick takeaways from the Seahawks’ latest win at Bank of America Stadium.
Russell Wilson was humming out of the gate and dropping dimes, looking like his first half MVP self.
One weekend after the Seahawks scored just three offensive points, Wilson came out on fire, completing 11 out of 14 passes for 192 yards in the first half and dialing up the deep ball on numerous occasions. During the first two quarters, Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett on a 44-yard completion and later found Josh Gordon for a 58-yard strike. Capping off 85 and 80-yard scoring drives, he hit DK Metcalf for a 19-yard score and later found a wide-open Lockett from 16 yards out to extend the lead to 20-7. Though he wasn’t quite as sharp in the second half, Wilson finished 20 for 26 with 286 passing yards and two scores and put the finishing touch on the game with a key third down completion to Lockett at the end of the fourth quarter.
Carrying the ground game, Chris Carson powered through one of the NFL’s worst run defenses.
While Seattle’s run game wasn’t overly effective during the middle quarters as the offense lulled, Carson came out running like a mad man, making a defender miss and bulldozing his way to the goal line before extending the football inside the pylon for a 16-yard touchdown to open scoring. Despite losing several nice runs towards the end of regulation due to holding calls on Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker, Carson still amassed 133 rushing yards on 24 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns. As expected, he feasted against a run defense that ranked 29 in the league entering Week 15. With the outstanding performance, the third year back set a new career-high in rushing yards for a season, besting his 1,151-yard effort in 2018.
Everyone is getting in on the turnover party for the Seahawks.
Entering Sunday’s game, Seattle had created 13 turnovers in the previous four games and Carolina had committed 17 turnovers over their past seven games. Based on those numbers, it shouldn’t be a surprise the Seahawks had a field day against backup quarterback Kyle Allen, coaxing him into three interceptions and several other errant throws. With the Panthers in field goal range late in the first half, Bobby Wagner undercut a throw to Chris Hogan and picked it off, erasing at least three points off the board. In a sloppy sequence of events in the third quarter, K.J. Wright intercepted Allen twice, including one that was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Poona Ford. Rookie Ugo Amadi nearly had his first career pick-six moments later, only for Christian McCaffrey to alertly punch it out before he could secure the catch.
Injuries are becoming a legitimate concern for Seattle’s defense heading into the postseason.
Every NFL team has a bunch of injuries by this time of year, but with Quandre Diggs and Bobby Wagner exiting in the second half with ankle and knee injuries respectively, the Seahawks played nearly half of Sunday’s game missing five defensive starters. While most of the injuries look to be minor in nature, the statuses of Diggs and Wagner remains unknown, Jadeveon Clowney is dealing with a core injury that isn’t going to improve, and Ziggy Ansah has been battling multiple injury issues all season. Seattle already has had trouble slowing down opponents at near full strength for much of the year and missing several key players on that side of the ball in the playoffs would spell doom against the NFC’s elite.