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NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

by Sharon Thorsland

So things aren’t exactly going as planned for the Panthers. There have been injuries to key players, the offense can’t get anything going, and now they’re probably starting a new quarterback with rookie Bryce Young dealing with an ankle injury. And to top it all off, they have to play in arguably the most hostile environment in the NFL when they take on the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field this week.

But don’t panic – backup quarterback Andy Dalton is a talented veteran who is 3-1 in his career in Seattle. And the Seahawks aren’t the defensive juggernaut they once were, they’re actually second worst in the NFL allowing 422 yards per game. They are coming off an impressive overtime win in Detroit, though, and are now 1-1 on the season while the Panthers are still looking for their first win..

Both of these team’s offenses have been slow out of the gate but the Seahawks are heating up after picking up nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns against the Lions. Veteran quarterback Geno Smith is back after an outstanding performance last season when he threw for nearly 4,300 yards and 30 touchdowns. He’s got some excellent playmakers in Pro Bowl receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and a hotshot rookie in Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the slot. Seattle’s run game has been mediocre, they’re managing just 83 yards a game but have a talented back in second player Kenneth Walker III. “They’re very versatile,” said Panther linebacker Frankie Luvu. “They’ve got a lot of weapons out there.”

The Panthers also have weapons, they just haven’t been able to get them going through two games. Hopefully, Dalton can jump-start things against a Seahawks defense that is pretty good against the run but ranks near the bottom of the league in points allowed, passing yards and third-down efficiency. But don’t be fooled – there is a lot of talent on this defense starting with All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. Former Broncos defensive end Dre’Mont Jones anchors the front line. The Legion of Boom is gone but Seattle’s secondary still has plenty of playmakers. Second-year cornerback Tariq Woolen led the NFL in interceptions last season, earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Fellow cornerback Tre Brown lived up to his nickname “Big Play Tre” last week with a pick six and a forced fumble. Star safety Jamal Adams is still working his way back from a quad injury but there’s still Pro Bowler Quandre Diggs and newcomer Julian Love. So it’s safe to say that this Seahawks’ defense is way better than the stats show. “They’re a good defense and they have been for a long time,” said Panther receiver Adam Thielen. “There are a lot of great players in that back end that have a ton of experience. Don’t let the stats fool you, this is a good defense and a really good football team.

New QB for Panthers vs Seahawks  was originally published on