The Panthers hosted the Seahawks in their their Week 1 matchup. The visiting team ended up with the victory after a tightly contested game that saw the Seahawks hold Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to just 125 passing yards. Seattle were able to force a pair of fumbles and shut down the passing game with their talented secondary.
The Panthers were able to open up the running game with DeAngelo Williams and their offensive line protected Newton well, while only giving up one sack. Defensive end Charles Johnson was able to get a sack and a fumble, while safety Charles Godfrey led the team with seven tackles. While Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 320 yards, the Carolina defense held him to only one touchdown and just seven yards on the ground.
The battle between Carolina and Seattle was a terrific defensive showing for both teams, but showcased a lack of offensive production. For both teams to improve, they will need to find a way to score points.
Jacson Bevens of Field Gulls is happy with the win but gives credit to the Carolina defense:
The reason (Russell) Wilson had to pirouette so often was Carolina's fearsome front seven re-establishing the line of scrimmage in Seattle's backfield. The Seahawks O-line was working overtime just to avoid looking silly and, to their credit, were at least able to deflect the Panthers rushers past Wilson enough to allow their QB to improvise. The O-line looked a little better on running plays, but Marshawn Lynch was unable to get past the second level all half.
Edgar Salmingo Jr. of Cat Scratch Reader believes there are positives and negatives to take out of the loss:
Russell Wilson killed Panthers defense, even when running for his life. Especially in the first half, the Panthers front 7 had incredible pressure on Wilson. The tone was set from the opening drive, where they almost sacked him for a safety. The pressure continued the rest of the game, even resulting in an intentional grounding. But no matter how much they were in his face, Wilson showed why he is one of the "slippery-est" quarterbacks in the league. He sliced and diced underneath all game, resulting in many expletives from Panthers fans in the stands.
Cam Newton looked good, but could have looked better. With this new Mike Shula run offense, Newton looked calm and composed. It also helped having an offensive line that gave him plenty of time. Although I have not charted his play, it appeared that when he had the time in the pocket, he was unstoppable. Despite his 97+ QB rating, he was badly misused. He wins on deep passes, has speedsters in Steve Smith and Ted Ginn Jr., and he only took one shot downfield. (It was incomplete, but it was nullified by a penalty.) I understand being conservative, but that does not mean you shoot yourself in the foot by not using your best weapons.