The Seattle Seahawks (6-5) dramatic 30 to 27 win over the Carolina Panthers (6-5) wasn’t pretty and one could say it was ugly except for one or two plays. One had to be the flight of the ball crossing the upright after it left Sebastian Janikowski’s feet for the game-winning 31-yard field goal.
The other had to be the Chris Carson flip, and run.
The win over the host Panthers was a gritty, persevere, and overcome football win. Every win this late in the season keeps playoff hopes alive while a loss shatters said hopes. The win kept the Seahawks playoff aspirations alive and in the process, the team reminded everyone that it has a balanced offense with multiple weapons.
The Seahawks rolled into Carolina with the NFL’s number one ranked rushing offense and number 27 ranked pass offense. Coming into the game the Seahawks offense had rushed for at least 100 yards in each of its last seven games. On Sunday the Seahawks were held to just 75 rushing yards, their second-worst rush output since the 64 yards in week one at Denver.
“On a day when we couldn’t run the ball like we had been, we needed the throwing game, and Russ came through and had a great day throwing the football,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “He just found so many key plays in crucial situations second-worst and did a wonderful job of making plays down the stretch when we had to have them. Guys made the catches, and the pass protection was there for us. We love to run the football, but balance is what’s really the essence of this thing, and I’m thrilled we were able to do that.”
And pass they did. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson completed 22 of 31 attempts for a season-high 339 yards, two touchdowns and a 128.3 passer rating. “It was definitely hard (to run the ball), ” Wilson said after the game. ” Those linebackers and that D-line are pretty good, but to be able to throw the ball—we can do anything we want to do. We’ve got star receivers out there on the flank, we’ve got tight ends who can catch, we’ve got running backs who can catch, we’ve got guys who can protect really well, so there’s nothing we can’t do. We want to play tough, physical football, but we also want to be able to be explosive in the passing game, spread the ball around, and guys made plays when we needed them to.”
Eight different Seahawks had at least one reception with Tyler Lockett five receptions for 107 one touchdown and David Moore four receptions and 103yards and one touchdown leading the way Doug Baldwin had five receptions for 39 yards.
SEAHAWKS DEFENSE MAKES CRUCIAL STAND
While the Seahawks run game was number one not far behind it was the Carolina Panthers run game which was number seven going into the game. Pretty sure that ranking will go up for the Panthers who came in averaging 130 yards per game but were able to rack up 220 rushing yards against a Seahawks defense that bent but did not break. Panther running back Christian McCaffrey has 125 yards on seven carries and racked up another 111 receiving yards on 11 receptions.
While the Seahawks defense gave up some chunk plays to MacCaffrey and Newton during the game, stopping the Panthers short on 3rd and seven on the final drive forced the failed 52-yard field goal attempt by Graham Gano and opened the door for Wilson and the offense to pull off a second consecutive comeback win.
“It was just a fantastic finish for our guys, and we needed all of it,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “I’m really fired up for the whole group, and to see us finish like that, again. Last week we finished really well; we finished really well again today, and a beautiful job with the clock and the timing and all the things exactly how we wanted to do it, so I’m really proud of that.”