The Seahawks will be looking to send their fans home with smiles and laughter when they take on the 4-8 Carolina Panther Sundays after at Lumen Field with a scheduled 1:25 kickoff time. The Seahawks will be looking to make amends to the 12’s for the team’s last home game, a 40-34 heartbreaker in OT to the Vegas Raiders. Despite their dismal record the Panthers beat the Broncos in overtime and are looking to make two in a row.
Some keys matchups that will determine the outcome of Sunday’s game
DOES IT MATTER WHO RUNS THE BALL?
Well yes and no. With Dee Jay Dallas and Ken Walker Jr hobbled by injuries all the week the pair is unlikely to see the field on Sunday. Head coach Pete Carroll said during his Friday press conference that the two would be wait and see. The guess it will be more wait than see. On Saturday the team elevated running back Godwin Igwebuike from the practice squad making him eligible for Sunday. Igwebuike will join Travis Homer and Tony Jones Jr who are good to go according to Carroll.
DIFFERENT STYLES UNDER THE SAME SYSTEM
I asked Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron if the team has to change the game plan with so many variables at running back.
“The different running backs I think, they just bring a different style, so they might bring the similar plays to life in a different way. I think for us as a whole, they all know our system. They all know the different runs. They’re all excellent with the protections, so I think for us, it’s more about that we have a good fit in our run game, a good system that we want to go into this game plan with, and we’ll be ready to activate. I think all the running backs have all the confidence in the world with whichever back is behind the centre and can execute the plays at a high level.”
Seahawks Run Game Coordinator and RB coach Chad Morton
HAVE THE SEAHAWKS SOLVED THEIR RUN DEFENSE ISSUE
Seems like this question is asked every week and it’s a fair question given the Seahawks have been taking half steps forward after the Tampa Bay debacle. The Hawks took two steps backward against the Raiders then leaned forward and proceeded to take a half step against the Rams. While they allowed the Rams to rush for 172 yards the defense limited Ram’s third down conversion to just 4 of 12.
The Panthers have a solid bruiser in D’ Onta Freeman whose practice participation was limited earlier this week, but he received a clean bill of health on Friday. Freeman has started the last five games at a running back and has rushed for 563 yards on 126 carries and scored four touchdowns. In the Panthers, 23-10 win over the Denver Broncos Freeman rushed 113 yards on 24 carried with a 4.7 yards per carry average.
The key for Seattle will be to generate pressure up front, clog the running lanes, take the run game away and force quarterback Sam Donald to beat you.
Seahawks D L Poona Ford on stopping the run
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CAN BRIAN BURNS BE STOPPED
The Geno Smith show continues to amaze with no end in sight. At this point in the season, the only person to stop Geno is Geno. While he has had some turnovers in games Smith’s joe cool demeanor and ability to bounce back is part of the reason the Seahawks have the seventh-best passing attack in the league. The offense line like Geno has taken its lumps at times during games but resilience has prevailed. On Sunday the O line will need more than resiliency to stop the Panthers, Brian Burns. Burns leads the Panthers with 10 sacks.
“He’s a really, really good athlete. He’s really athletic, and he’s got the burst, and the length, and all that kind of stuff, but he’s really athletic and really slippery in his pass rush. He can get in and out of his spaces really efficiently. He has a really good motor. He really brings it, and he plays all the time. He’s getting a ton of reps. You can’t rest on him at all. He’ll take the edge in a heartbeat. So, he’s a really good player.”
The Seahawks will need to use double teams, and have a running back chip Burns when he is streaking into the backfield. A good run game is the best way to neutralize Burns. But that is easier said than done.
LOCKETT AND DK METCALF
Last week against the Rams the Seahawks tight ends combined for seven receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown. Noah Fant did the majority of the work with four receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. Look for the Seahawks to not only throw to the running backs in the flat but the tight ends in mid routes to soften the Panther’s defense. Softening the Panther defense would then set up the deeper routes and home run ball to Dk Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Both complimented each other with their routes. Metcalf had eight receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown. Lockett had nine receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown.
The Seahawk’s offense has to establish some kind of a rhythm early. The dream start would be an efficient run game that keeps the offense on schedule with some early scores. An acceptable start would be for the offense to stay out of third down and long with the defense forcing some early Carolina three and out’s
2022 STAT LEADERS
|Rushing||Kenneth Walker III|
|D’onta Foreman 563 (126-4.5.4)|
|Passing||Geno Smith 3,169 (392-285-22-6-108.7)||PJ Walker 731 (106-63-3-378.0)|
|Receptions||DK Metcalf 67 (798-11.9-5)||DJ Moore 46 (605-13.2-4)|
| Scoring ( non kicker)||Kenneth Walker III 54||D’Onta Foreman 26|
|Sacks||Uchenna Nwosu 9.0||Brian Burns 10.0|
|Int||Tariq Woolen 6||Horn & Jackson 2|
|Punting||Michael Dickson 49.6/45.5 net (15 In 20)||Johnny Hekker 48.8/44.1 net (29 In 29)|
|Kicking||Jason Myers 102 (23/24 FG, 33/34 PAT)||Eddy Pineiro 84 (22/24 FG, 18/20 PAT)|
HEAD TO HEAD
|2022 REGULAR SEASON||SEAHAWKS||PANTHERS |
|Total Yard Gained||4,331||3,496|
|Total Offense ( NFL Rank)||360.9 (9)||291.3 ( T29)|
|Rush Offense||116.5 (19)||116.8 ( 17)|
|Pass offense||244.4 (7)||174.6 (29)|
|Points Per Game||26.5 (5)||19.2 (25)|
|Total Yards Allowed||4,595||4,178|
|Total Defense||382.9 (30)||348.2 (19)|
|Rush Defense||155.3 (31)||135.7 (25)|
|Pass Defense ||227.7 (20)||212.5 (14)|
|Points Allowed/ Game||25.3 (28)||22.2 (14)|
|Sacks Made /Yds Lost||31/211||25/147|
|Turnover Differential||+4 (T5)||-4 ( T26)|
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