CHARLOTTE — Well, that wasn’t pretty.
The Seattle Seahawks struggled to move the ball on the ground, but played better in the second half to defeat the Carolina Panthers 12-7 at Bank of America Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse deep for a 43-yard scoring strike to put Seattle ahead for good, with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
Wilson made plays when he needed to, finishing 25 of 33 for 320 yards, including the touchdown pass to Kearse. He also was sacked two times, including a strip fumble by Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson that negated a good scoring chance late in the first half.
But the key play came late in the game, when the Seahawks stopped a possible winning drive by forcing Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams to fumble on the Seattle’s own 7-yard line. Richard Sherman jarred the ball loose, and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel recovered with a little over five minutes left in the game.
Marshawn Lynch finished with just 43 rushing yards on 17 carries.
Sunday’s win over the Panthers was Seattle’s first on the road since a 9-6 win at Detroit to open up the 2006 season. The Seahawks are now 4-6 in road season openers since 2000.