The Seahawks are on the road again this week taking on yet another opponent they should be able to beat in the Panthers.
The lynchpin of Carolina’s offense is still Cam Newton, who through four weeks has been putting up similar numbers to those from his Pro Bowl rookie season. He’s getting plenty of help in the ground game from DeAngelo Williams, but his only consistent receiving threats have been ex-Bears TE Greg Olsen and WR Steve Smith, who’s finally beginning to slow down at the age of 33. Their offense has also had trouble converting the offensive yardage they’ve been racking up into points on the scoreboard, and I don’t see that changing this afternoon against Seattle’s defense.
Aside from a 7-sack performance against the Falcons last week, the Panthers’ defense has done little to inspire confidence this season. With RG John Moffitt ruled out for the second week in a row, sacks are going to be a concern for Seattle, but Caroline is also 23rd in points allowed, 30th in rushing yards per attempt allowed, and 28th in completion percentage allowed. If the Seahawks are going to shift their passing game out of neutral this season, this would be an ideal time to do it.
If the game comes down to a Martyball-style struggle for field position, special teams could end up tipping the game in Seattle’s favor. Jon Ryan has the 4th best yards per punt average in the NFL (50.3), while Carolina’s Brad Nortman has the 3rd worst (41.2).