Good morning. We had a pretty good thunderstorm here in Charlotte this morning. Otherwise, there’s a 40 percent chance of rain with the temperature in the 60s.
I also want to emphasize here that comments need to remain civil in the comments section, as things have gotten progressively worse this past week. I have always tried to be tolerant of most comments and let the regular posters manage it. But things were out of hand this past week, so if you’re comments are over the top, they will be deleted and you’ll be banned from commenting here.
One of the great things about this blog over the years has been the healthy but civil debate on football in general, and the Seahawks specifically, so please keep it that way.
Here’s five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the Carolina Panthers.
Wrap up and stay home: Cam Newton is one of the most explosive playmakers in the league, and he has some help in DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Steve Smith. The Seahawks need to control the line of scrimmage defensively, be disciplined in defending the read option and get 11 hats to the ball once they wrap-up Newton and the rest of his teammates in the open field.
Contain/Create explosive plays: The Panthers have 43 explosive plays on the year – passes over 16 yards or runs over 12 yards. The Seahawks have done a good job defensively on limiting explosive plays, giving up just 21 on the year. On the flip side, Seattle must create some dynamic plays on offense to make rookie Russell Wilson’s job easier. Seattle has just 21 explosive plays on offense through four weeks.
Cut the stupid penalties: Seattle is tied for the lead league with 37 penalties through four weeks. Even worse, Seattle has 14 pre-snap penalties on offense – 10 false starts and four delay of games – along with five personal foul penalties. It’s hard to win games on the road if you don’t play a clean game.
Relax Russell: It’s time for the Russell Wilson that we saw in the preseason to emerge. Stop second-guessing your reads. Push the ball down the field. Tuck the ball and run when the defense gives you room to roam. Let’s see Seattle let this kid play on offense.
Win the turnover battle: Wilson has to play free, yet still make plays within the framework of the offense. That means also taking care of the ball and not giving the Panthers easy opportunities to score on a short field. On the other end, Seattle has created just five turnovers defensively. The Panthers have turned it over nine times so far this season, so there should be some opportunities for Seattle’s defense to create some game-changing plays.
Here’s my advance for today’s game, focusing on Seattle’s struggles on the road. The Seahawks are 5-14 under Pete Carroll.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com also discusses Seattle’s road woes.
John McGrath of The News Tribune says that the Seahawks should consider drafting a receiver in the first round next year to help whoever ends up being the franchise quarterback.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that improving on third down is one of the keys for the Seahawks.
ESPN’s Mike Sando notes that the Seahawks are one of the worst defenses in the league in third and long.
The Seahawks are facing a desperate team in Carolina trying to avoid going 1-4, according to Steve Reed of The Associated Press.
Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer reports that the Panthers activated former Seahawks cornerback Ron Parker to the team’s active roster from the practice squad.
Here’s the latest Real Robinson Report.