Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/6/13
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

Cardinals fire scouting director in hacking scandal fallout

Report: Lakers to get second meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

Antonio Gates suspended four games for violating drug policy

Tim Duncan officially returning to Spurs for another season

Rolando McClain suspended four games for substance abuse

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets' Richardson suspended four games for violating drug policy

Report: Aldridge not impressed with Lakers' branding pitch

Toronto column after trade details Kessel's love of hot dogs

A-Rod, Yankees, union in talks to donate HR bonus to charity

Dez Bryant, Cowboys reportedly on verge of contract extension

Report: Braxton Miller to reveal 'immediate plans' next week

Bama players admitted they didn’t respect OSU QB Jones heading into CFB playoff

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

Report: Heat re-sign Wade to one-year, $20M contract

Larry Brown Sports on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how it went

A-Rod on desire to make All-Star Game: ‘I’d walk to Cincinnati’

Landing Monta Ellis puts Pacers back in title-chasing pack

Bryce Harper snaps another selfie with fans before game

Putting Chris Sale’s strikeout streak in historical perspective

Chargers job listing: Applicants must be open to move to LA

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

TUF weekly recap by NOS® Energy Drink

Cavs on verge of shattering NBA's luxury tax record

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

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

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.