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

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

Chris Sale out three weeks with foot injury

NHL analyst calls out media over Blackhawks report

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

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

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

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.