The Seahawks and Panthers will meet in Week 1, with both teams hoping that a fresh start will bring their teams improved success. Seattle is hoping to win a Super Bowl this season, while the Panthers are still trying to make the playoffs for the first time in the Ron Rivera era. The odds for this contest reflect those aspirations, as Odds Shark lists the visiting Seahawks as the 3.5-point favorites.
Seattle will be looking to make a statement early in the season, with second-year quarterback Russell Wilson once again at the helm on offense. Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch will carry the load when it comes to creating points, but Seattle's offensive line will have to continue its impressive play from last year in order to get the team in scoring position. On the other side of the ball, defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas will look to shutdown the Panthers' passing attack.
This season may be the deciding factor into whether the Panthers keep the current coaching staff or look elsewhere. With so much on the line this season, quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Steve Smith will have get the ball rolling on offense. If the Panthers fail to score points, it may be a long day for their defense against the Seahawks. While the addition of rookie defensive tackle Star Lotulelei will help the Panthers defend against the run, Carolina will need to show improved coverage from last season in order to stop Seattle's receivers from gaining large chunks of yardage through the air.