Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers: Bold Predictions for Each Team

Jeremy SickelContributor IIIOctober 5, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after tossing for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 30, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks travel to Bank of America Stadium on Sunday to take on the Carolina Panthers. This game could end up being one of the more entertaining contests on the NFL’s Week 5 schedule, or it could be one of the more boring depending on the perspective.

The Seahawks' formula for success is easy: Run the ball, protect the ball and play solid defense. Behind Marshawn Lynch, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and an aggressive front seven, it seems to be working so far.

The 2-2 record should actually be 1-3, since Seattle was handed the Green Bay game by the replacement referees. But don’t let that fool you; the Seahawks are a very solid team and should remain competitive throughout the entire season.

The Panthers, however, are struggling and should be looking forward to the bye week after this game. Cam Newton’s sophomore slump is legit and he is letting it get to him, as evidenced by his uninspiring press conference after Week 3’s 36-7 loss to the New York Giants.

Things won’t get much easier for Carolina after their break though with the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins and the Denver Broncos on the horizon, especially if the defense continues to struggle.

Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday’s matchup.


Marshawn Lynch Runs for 150 Yards and 2 Touchdowns

The Seahawks are sixth in the NFL in rushing at 150.8 yards game and rely heavily on Marshawn Lynch to carry the offensive load. With Wilson at the helm, Seattle is definitely approaching this season and the offense the right way.

Lynch leads the league in rushing yards with 423 yards and is second only to Arian Foster in carries with 92. The Panthers allow 134.8 rushing yards per game, so Lynch should be able to find plenty of space to run on Sunday afternoon.

This game should be played at a slow pace, especially if Seattle wants to steal one on the road. If it plays out as such, Lynch could see a lot more work than usual and rack up some serious stats along the way.


Cam Newton Scores on 50-Yard Touchdown Run

Newton is actually tied with DeAngelo Williams as the Panthers’ leading rusher with 167 yards. The quarterback’s three touchdowns also lead the team.

The second-year signal-caller is arguably the most dynamic player in the NFL. But his struggles and how he is dealing with his down year have some pulling back their positive judgment on Newton early on this season.

Seattle is actually second in the league against the run, allowing only 62.8 yards per game on just three yards per carry. But the Seahawks have yet to face a team with such a talented backfield.

One play may be all it takes to pull Newton from his funk. As aggressive as the Seahawks are in the trenches, the quarterback could find a lot of open space in the second and third levels of Seattle’s defense.


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