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

Michael Bennett compares Pete Carroll to Willy Wonka

Jim Kelly: There is no doubt Tom Brady cheated

Warriors hang on, edge Rockets in Game 2 thriller

Farrell 'not ruling anything out' as Red Sox's struggles persist

Gretzky: Connor McDavid could be the next Gretzky

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bucs' Clint McDonald: Jameis Winston already leading team

Dana White: Rousey vs. Cyborg would break UFC PPV record

Report: Smith child abuse investigation 'sexual in nature'

DeGale: ‘At the end of the day I’m better’ than Dirrell

Belichick suspected Tom Brady wasn't being honest with him

Johnny Manziel to be a full participant in OTAs

Don't listen to Nick Saban, the bowl system is just fine

MLB scores partial victory in minor league wage lawsuits

Ranking the NBA Playoffs' most significant injuries

WATCH: Will Smith ejected for foreign substance on arm

Guy behind NFL's social media trolling of Pats is a Jets fan?

In defense of 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie

Madison Bumgarner homered off of Clayton Kershaw

Would both Towns, Okafor prefer not being the No. 1 pick?

Spoiler Alert Central: Pitfalls in online viewing of live sports

NYPD officer takes photo with 'Eli's brother' at Letterman

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

NFL suspends Bills Marcell Dareus for violating substance abuse policy

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

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Ten players who could benefit due to PAT rule change

Five QBs set for breakout campaigns

Report: Lakers will pursue Thibodeau

MLS leaders struggling with attendance

LBS: I was a contestant on Sports Jeopardy!

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.