Seahawks Fall to Panthers 30-24

Carolina Panthers running back Raheem Blackshear leaps into the end zone ahead of Seattle Seahawks safety Ryan Neal for an eight-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers up by ten during the fourth quarter. (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times)

The Carolina Panthers defeated the Seahawks Sunday afternoon at Lumen Field in Seattle by a score of 30-24. Carolina dominated time of possession, with 20+ more minutes with the football than Seattle. The Seahawks also struggled offensively today, as Geno Smith had two interceptions to his name and almost a third one late in the fourth quarter. 

Ultimately, this game came down to the time of possession, and the ability to run the football. Carolina steamrolled Seattle’s front seven all game, as their run scheme and the duo of D’onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard were excellent all game. Sam Darnold was also clean for the Panthers, as he had no interceptions and did not give up a turnover. The Panthers played well the entire game, with significant stops on defense when they needed to and a great run game they eventually tired out Seattle’s defense. 

Geno Smith near the end of the third quarter was not the Geno Smith we have seen all season. He was inaccurate and struggled to evade the pass rush to keep plays alive. Seattle’s running game was also nowhere to be found today, which most likely led to fewer passing plays being available for Smith. Travis Homer was the leading rusher for the Seahawks, and he had only 26 yards rushing in the loss. 

Pete Carroll is a big believer in time of possession, being able to run the football, and of course, quality defense. On each of those fronts his team today got beat, which eventually led to their sound defeat. Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu spoke to the media about how difficult it was for the Seahawks to stop the run today.

“Lots of missed tackles, we weren’t setting edges, we weren’t getting off blocks, it was all-inclusive today,” Nwosu said.

After a disappointing loss, the Seahawks have to regroup quickly in what should be the deciding game of the NFC West on Thursday night. They take on the division-leading San Francisco 49ers who beat down the Buccaneers Sunday 35-7 with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy at the helm. Geno Smith and company will need to find some rhythm offensively, while the defense has to find an answer for opponents running games in order to keep the team in games.