By Matthew Asher
Labor Day: a cherished national holiday in America designed to give the working men and women of this country an extra day off. But for the Seattle Seahawks, Labor Day simply meant the first day of regular season practices and the first practice with their slimmed down 53-man roster.
While preseason games don’t count when it comes to regular season success, it is important to note just how effective the Hawks were both at scoring points and preventing them throughout the entire preseason.
Seattle scored 110 points and gave up just 36 points for an average score of 27.5-9. The 110 points were second only to the Baltimore Ravens, who had 119 points scored (and 97 points scored against them), and the 36 points given up were the least surrendered in the entire NFL. The +74 point differential for Seattle was also the top difference in the preseason. The Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers each finished the preseason with a +53.
But even with all the momentum Seattle may have gained during the preseason, it’s important for them to not look past the Carolina Panthers game this week. In what has the makings of a trap game, Seattle needs to remember how dangerous last year’s 7-9 Panthers team was when Seattle was able to escape with a closely contested 16-12 victory.
Outspoken Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy remembers last year’s game well and doesn’t think a close win by Seattle gives the Hawks any advantage this season. “I’m glad they’ve got a buzz, I’m glad they’re feeling good about themselves,” Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy said to the Charlotte Observer. “But if they don’t block, they don’t run, they don’t score — they don’t win. It’s as simple as that.”
It may seem odd that Hardy would mention scoring as a potential issue for Seattle, but Hardy does have a record of backing up his talk. Last season after a 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Hardy said he still believed his team was the better one. Later in the season his Panthers got the chance to back up his statements as they cruised to a 30-20 victory in the rematch game against Atlanta.
One of the big concerns about Seattle’s Week 1 match-up against the Carolina Panthers is the starting time. Seattle has to travel to Carolina for a 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PDT match-up. Late morning games have typically not been kind to the Hawks, where they are 7-21 since 2008 and 1-3 last season. Fortunately for Seattle, head coach Pete Carroll has been scheduling practices this week at 10 a.m. to get the team ready to play.
For more news and updates, visit Seattle Seahawks Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta sports related. His work can be found on Examiner.com.