Going for broke
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks take their number one ranked run game into NASCAR country to take on the Carolina Panthers.
This game is a tale of two beasts in the backfield that will hope to lead their teams to victory as both QB’s are having a rough go of it lately.
Matchup: Seattle vs. Carolina
Venue:Bank of America Stadium
Time: 1:05 PM (Local)
Date: October 7th 2012
Weather: High 60. Low 47. Scattered Thunderstorms
Team Records: Seattle (2-2) Carolina (1-3)
Standings: Seahawks 4th NFC West. Panthers 3rd NFC South
Game notes/How they match up
As mentioned above, both the Seahawks and Panthers passing games are struggling early on this season, while both running games have been pretty good.
Pretty good is an understatement for the Hawks though, as they head into their week 5 matchup with the best running game in the NFL.
Cam Newton hasn’t had the year his fans had hoped for early on. His TD to INT ratio is atrocious, and he isn’t getting the rushing yards that he had last year either. Sophomore slump maybe?
The Panthers have two excellent backs in DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart that will try to finally beat the Hawks tough rush defense.
On our side of the ball, Marshawn Lynch will try to keep his league leading run game going, and hopefully will find the endzone at least once.
What to watch: Seattle
Two big things to watch for on Sunday for the Hawks are how can Russell Wilson come out in this game.
Can he take over early with any sort of passing attack, or will he mainly rely on Lynch to carry the team forward down the field.
The other thing to watch for is if the secondary can exploit the unsure arm of Cam Newton.
Heading into this week, he already has 8 picks, so if our front line does its job with putting pressure on him, he will have to either run, or make ill advised passes.
Either way this spells success for the Seahawks defense.
What to watch: Carolina
Which player will show up this week, the one who awed us all as a rookie last year, or the one who is looking more and more like Tony Romo each week.
The running game of the Panthers will be a thing to keep an eye on as well, as these are probably the best two backs the Seahawks have come up against in this early campaign.
The Panthers have quite a few question marks on defense heading into this week too, they currently have 5 defensemen on the injury list, though they each (besides Jon Beason) participated fully during Friday’s practice.
Seattle O vs. Carolina D
The Panthers could be without Beason on Sunday, which leaves a huge void to fill, and an ever bigger exploit to attack for the Hawks.
Marshawn Lynch should be able to get some decent yardage against this defense, as he has already racked up tons of yards against four better defenses this season.
Will Russell Wilson be able to challenge the Panthers secondary with any sort of regularity is a huge question, SS Charles Godfrey is a dangerous DB, so he will need to try to stay clear of him.
The offense will most likely rely on the run game again, and if that sputters, we may be in trouble.
Carolina O vs. Seattle D
This will be all on DeAngelo Williams I think.
With the way Newton has been throwing balls away, the Panthers would be better off trying to make something happen on the ground.
The front four will have a field day with Newton if their run game stalls, which could be a big possibility as our defense has completely shut down our opponents run games this year.
Steve Smith is always a threat down field, but Newton will have to be able to stay upright long enough to get him the ball.
Veteran FB Mike Tolbert is a threat out of the backfield as well, so our linebackers will have to keep a keen eye on him on short passing downs.
Panthers: Out: Mike Pollak. Doubtful: Jon Beason, Chris Gamble. Questionable: Geoff Hangartner. Probable: Frank Alexander, Antwan Applewhite, Colin Jones.
Seattle is the 3 point underdog in this one, most likely because of their offensive woes this season, as well as the curse of playing in the eastern time zone.
I’m going the other way though, and not giving them anywhere near the points that the bookies are.