Panthers Looking to End Losing Streak

Sharon Thorsland
December 13, 2019 - 12:59 pm
Luke Kuechly

© Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a rough stretch for the Panthers. After losing four straight, they saw their head coach fired last week, then proceeded to get hammered by the rival Falcons, pushing their losing streak to five straight games.

Things don't get any easier this Sunday, when Seattle comes to town. Kick-off is set for 1:00 on WBT.

The 10-3 Seahawks are coming off a double-digit loss to the Rams, so no doubt they'll be looking to right the ship at the Panthers expense.

The Seahawks have long been known their power running game, and this season is no different.

They average over 140 rushing yards per game, that's third in the NFL. But Rashaad Penny tore his ACL against the Rams, leaving Chris Carson to carry the load.

The good news for the Seahawks is that Carson has topped 1,000 yards for the second straight season and has six touchdowns.

Even better news than that – the Seahawks have Russell Wilson.

The former NC State star has been outstanding this season, throwing 26 touchdowns with just five interceptions.

And as Panther defensive tackle Gerald McCoy noted, Wilson has been finding ways to win.

“When you got a guy on your team who never gives up hope, who always plays with the mentality of 'something's gonna happen good for us,' it's hard to beat those guys,” said McCoy. “But they're coming in our house, and it's gonna be tough, but we can get it done.”

Wilson's top target is Tyler Lockett, he has 63 catches, six of them touchdowns. He starts alongside speedy rookie D.K. Metcalf. Former Clemson standout Jaron Brown is also in the mix, so is Josh Gordon, who the Seahawks picked up six weeks ago.

So it's obvious the Panther defense has its work cut out for it facing this bunch. The Panther offense could do some damage, though, especially through the air.

The famed “Legion of Boom” is no more in Seattle. It was officially disbanded when safety Earl Thomas left for Baltimore, leaving behind a group of young players including rookie Marquise Blair and 2nd-year cornerback Tre Flowers.

The lone veteran is former Lions safety Quandre Diggs, who has three interceptions.

That youth is a big reason the Seahawks rank 29th in the NFL allowing over 271 passing yards per game. So let's see if Kyle Allen and the Panthers can take advantage.

Running the ball won't be as easy, even with Christian McCaffrey.

The Seahawks are allowing just 104 rushing yards per game, and feature one of the best linebackers in the league in Bobby Wagner, who ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles.

They've also got Jadaveon Clowney. The former South Carolina standout is a Julius Peppers-type player; he has three sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown.

On paper, this should be a really good game.

The Panthers have played the Seahawks eight times in the past seven seasons, including twice in the playoffs.

Six of those games have been decided by seven points or less, including last season's 30-27 game in Charlotte, a Seahawks win.

Panther safety Tre Boston is expecting another good one Sunday.

“It's two of the same teams who love to run the ball, play smash-mouth defense,” said Boston. “It's all about who's going to have more fight in the game, and who's going to be nitty and gritty when it comes down to that fourth quarter. Because that's usually what it comes down to for us.”

Let's hope it's the Panthers and they get a much-needed win.

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