Seahawks vs. Panthers: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
The Seattle Seahawks are being picked by many experts as Super Bowl favorites, but an early loss on the road to the Carolina Panthers would put a damper on all the hype.
On paper, Seattle is more talented on both sides of the ball and should win the game, but that's why they play.
Carolina has enough young talent to pull off an early upset, with Cam Newton leading the way on offense and second-year linebacker Luke Kuechly leading a superb front seven on defense.
Newton and his offense will be thoroughly tested, however, as Seattle's defense is undeniably one of the best—if not the best—in the NFL from top to bottom.
Second-year quarterback Russell Wilson wowed the nation with his fine play a year ago, and he leads a balanced offense that is capable of putting a high volume of points on the scoreboard.
Here's a quick look at what you need to know about this upcoming contest.
When: Sunday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 45 pts.
- Spread: Carolina (+3)
Seahawks Injury Report (via NFL.com)
Panthers Injury Report (via NFL.com)
Will Cam Newton Be Able to Score on Seattle's Defense?
Carolina will only go as far as Newton takes it this season, and the jury is still out on the third-year quarterback as a pocket passer.
Everyone knows he can run and score touchdowns near the goal line, but new general manager Dave Gettleman wants Newton to become a pocket passer in the mold of Eli Manning, as noted by Robert Klemko of USA Today:
Ten of the 12 teams in the playoffs this year had true pocket passers. At the end of the day, the quarterback has to make plays from the pocket. I think the read-option is an option. But at the end of the day, your quarterback has got to make plays from the pocket, and if he can't, you're going to struggle.
Based on Newton's preseason, this upcoming game against Seattle could be ugly. He completed just half his passes in three games, averaging just 5.4 yards per attempt while throwing one touchdown and an interception.
The Seahawks feature the league's best secondary, an athletic group of linebackers and a handful of pass-rushers that will pester Newton all game long. The young quarterback must play with discipline, or this game will turn into a blowout before halftime.
The way Seattle handled Denver and Green Bay during the preseason showed me that this team is already in midseason form as the regular season begins.
That doesn't bode well for the Panthers.
Which team will win?
Kuechly, along with rookies Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short, has given Carolina a big boost on defense and could keep the Panthers in the game in the first half.
That said, I'll be shocked if the Seahawks don't put the NFL on notice with a blowout win on the road. Marshawn Lynch may not rush for 100 yards, but he'll be able to give the Seahawks enough balance to open up things for Wilson in the passing game.
Seahawks 34, Panthers 17
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.
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