Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
First Look: The Carolina Panthers hit the ground running against a team that some experts say could win it all come February. In a critical year for Ron Rivera and Co., Carolina must get off to a good start: something the team hasn’t done under Rivera in his two years with the team. Why Carolina Might Win: Simply put, the Panthers defense has been on a mission and carried the team during the preseason, even outscoring the offense in some games. The best way to beat the Seahawks on the field is to keep Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch OFF of it. In order to do that, the Panthers D will have to get a big push from the defensive line a.k.a. Monsters Inc. (Greg Hardy’s name, not mine). The Seahawks ranked 27th last season in passing offense. Conversely, they were 3rd on the ground. On top of that, newly acquired Seattle receiver Percy Harvin will miss this game and many others recovering from recent hip surgery. If the Panthers are able to contain Marshawn Lynch, they stand a great chance to pull off the upset. Why Seattle Might Win: The Seahawks defense was arguably the best in the NFL last season. Don’t expect anything to change this season. It’s very hard to look at the Seattle defense and spot a weakness right away. That doesn’t bode well for a Panthers team that is still trying to find it’s identity in year three of the Cam Newton era. Add to the mix that the biggest question mark for Carolina will be their offensive line, and that is cause for worry if you’re a Panthers fan. Seattle will look to keep Newton in the pocket and rely on their strong secondary to get the job done against Steve Smith and the receiving corps. If the Seahawks are able to get their offense clicking early against the inexperienced Panthers secondary, this game could get out of hand quickly. Final Analysis: The last time these two teams met, Seattle won a defensive struggle 16-12. Expect a similar result on Sunday. Both teams have above average defenses and rely on them to get their team going. This will also be Newton’s first game since being named a team captain. The Panthers staff have been preaching all summer that Newton has matured and taken a bigger role in the locker room. All eyes will be on him especially if things go south. Prediction: Seattle 27 Carolina 14  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Elementary school sportswriter has hot take on Cam Newton

Romo was willing to take pay cut to keep DeMarco Murray

Marcus Mariota reportedly not planning to attend NFL draft

Alabama RB dismissed from team after marijuana arrest

Golden Tate: Departure of Suh won't pressure Lion's offense

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Team USA improves before meltdown in Swiss draw

USC AD skips meeting in Indiana: ‘I am the proud father of a gay son’

David Ortiz clarifies part of essay in The Players' Tribune

Hernandez reportedly 'swore' he wasn't involved in murder

Associated Press examining its use of the Redskins name

WATCH: Spoelstra gives nice shoutout to Craig Sager

WATCH: Drew Miller takes skate to the face

WATCH: Gronk describes his perfect wife

Reigning National Champions to boycott Final Four in Indiana

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

New development clears path for Rams relocation

WATCH: J.J. Watt sings about stadium food on 'New Girl'

Kings ready to shut down DeMarcus Cousins

Jameis Winston may skip NFL draft to be with grandmother

Phillies to sell hard liquor, wine at Citizens Bank Park

Jason Dufner, wife Amanda getting a divorce

Top 10 players in baseball

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Top 10 players in baseball

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.