Week 5: Seattle Seahawks At Carolina Panthers
- QuarterbackRussell Wilson is a solid prospect at the quarterback position and he has every chance to come through for head coach Pete Carroll. He did that – thanks in large part to the replacement refs – in the Week three win over the Packers. However, he struggled badly on the road as he threw three interceptions against the Rams.The pressure is on Cam Newton to build off of his rookie season and play even better in his second year. However, he is feeling the heat. Newton needs to come through with at least two good games in a row before that pressure is relieved. This would be a good game for him to come through.
- OffenseThe Seahawks can relieve the pressure on Wilson by giving the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch and letting him run between the tackles and burst outside. Sidney Rice should be a an impressive go-to receiver while Golden Tate has shown he will do anything he can to make his team successful.No team has more potential running the football than the Panthers. In addition to Newton running the ball on designed scrambles and quarterback draws, DeAngelo Williams can be explosive while Jonathan Steward is solid between the tackles. Steve Smith is still a positive as a versatile receiver and tight end Greg Olsen has excellent hands.
- DefenseThe Seahawks want to impact the game with their ferocious defense. However, when they go on the road, that unit is not quite as nasty on the road as it is at home. Defensive end Chris Clemons is a game-changing player. He had 4.0 sacks in the Week Three win over the Packers.Head coach Ron Rivera teaches a very aggressive brand of defense and Charles Johnson got the message in Week Four against the Atlanta Falcons. The defensive end sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan 3.5 times in Week Four. Rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly is a solid and instinctive tackler.
- Special TeamsThe Seahawks have the potential to break any game open with their special teams. Leon Washington is a veteran return specialist who will take advantage of any mistake by the coverage teams. Steven Hauschka has made 7-of-8 FG attempts this season. He has good but not great leg strength.The Panthers will have their work cut out for them on special teams because Washington is such a smart return man with excellent speed. Amazingly, Justin Medlock has only attempted one field goal this season. Punter Brad Nortman has a strong leg and he can place the ball inside the 20.
The Seahawks seem to be a much more timid team when they go on the road. While they have a very aggressive defense, it tends to show up much more prominently when they are playing in the Pacific Northwest. Cam Newton needs to get back on track with a great game here.