Posted October 03, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Cam Newton is apologizing for a mistake that likely cost the Carolina Panthers a victory last weekend, but there is no quarterback controversy for coach Ron Rivera's team.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll could be faced with one soon if rookie Russell Wilson can't limit his errors.
Newton and the Panthers will try to avoid a third consecutive loss when the Seahawks go for their first win in Charlotte in three tries Sunday.
Needing two yards for a game-clinching first down last Sunday at Atlanta, Newton fumbled on a third-down run that was recovered by teammate Mike Tolbert. Rivera decided to punt with 1:09 left instead of giving Newton another chance, and the Falcons responded with a 77-yard scoring drive that dropped Carolina (1-3) three games back of Atlanta for the NFC South lead.
"You have to protect the football," Newton said following the 30-28 defeat. "That was a key focus going into this game, and I fumbled. There's a lot of guys that are trusting the ball carrier, and I was the ball carrier that particular play to get the job done. And I dropped the ball."
Newton is definitely off to a slow start, but Rivera's best option is to keep giving the ball to the 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Carroll said earlier this week that Wilson is the best option for the Seahawks (2-2), but after the third-round pick was intercepted a season-high three times in last Sunday's 19-13 loss at St. Louis, there have been questions about the availability of newcomer Matt Flynn, who was nursing a sore elbow during the preseason when he lost the job to Wilson.
"Matt's ready to play. We just don't know what's going to happen when he gets a lot of work. He might be all right, we don't know that, but we have not taken him there yet," Carroll said. "But no, he's ready to play in every game and he's ready to go in the very next play if we need him."
That might come sooner rather than later if Wilson doesn't improve on third down and in the red zone. The Seahawks are already limiting his attempts - their 100 are the fewest in the NFL - so it's critical that Wilson make the most out of each one. He has a 45.4 passer rating on third down, and he's 8 for 19 with a touchdown in the red zone.
Seattle, whose 523 passing yards are the fewest in the league, is last in the NFL in red zone TD efficiency at 27.3 percent.
"This is a very hard part of the game for all young quarterbacks, this red zone and third down," Carroll, whose team is 14 of 50 on third down, told the Seahawks' official website. "It always has been. That's where it gets most difficult and we need to get better in both those areas."
Carolina, meanwhile, has reached the end zone a league-best 72.7 percent of the time when it reaches the red zone, with six of those eight TDs coming on the ground.
The Panthers' running attack - Newton and DeAngelo Williams lead the team with 167 yards apiece - racked up 199 last Sunday, but Carolina will face a Seattle rush defense that's second in the NFL giving up 62.8 yards per game.
If Carolina can't get anything from the running game, Newton might not have much time to find wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen as the Seahawks have 10 sacks in the last two games.
The Panthers had a franchise-record seven sacks last Sunday, but their secondary has struggled of late. Rivera is contemplating a switch at free safety after Haruki Nakamura was involved in all three of Atlanta's touchdowns last week as well as a 59-yard pass that set up the Falcons' winning field goal.
"We're going to evaluate different combinations and what those possibilities can be," Rivera said.
Whoever starts in the Panthers' secondary should be prepared to help with run support as Seahawks back Marshawn Lynch is the NFL leader with 423 yards.
Seattle is the league's only team with more rushing yards (603) than passing.
Lynch ran for 83 yards and three scores the last time these teams met, a 31-14 Seattle win Dec. 5, 2010. Carolina posted a 13-10 victory in the Seahawks' last visit Dec. 16, 2007.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Carolina Panthers’ receiver Brandon LaFell is still smarting from the heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The upstart target for Cam Newton didn’t feel like punting was the right choice in the waning moments of thier Sunday game. In the NFL it’s a game of inches, and pound of courage, they had the inches, just not the courage. Protecting a one point lead, the Panthers...
Former Seattle Seahawks great Warren Moon believes that head coach Pete Carroll needs to stop having rookie quarterback Russell Wilson play like a robot to limit turnovers.
“He feels that he can do more and handle more than they’re giving him,” Moon told Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner.
“You’ve got to remember — Pete’s a defensive coach, and he preaches, ‘Turnovers...
Despite Seattle's offensive struggles in its first four games, the Seahawks are sticking with
rookie Russell Wilson as their starting quarterback. Coach Pete Carroll told The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., that Matt Flynn, the team's big
offseason acquisition, wasn't ready to play because of an elbow injury that has limited him in
practice. But Carroll later backtracked...
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer The question asked of Seattle coach Pete Carroll had nothing to do with Bobby Wagner.
After the way Wagner has played in the first quarter of the season, Carroll made it a point to recognize how well his rookie middle linebacker is doing making the adjustment from college to the NFL.
Through four games...
2 – 2 through the first 4 games
Impressions, such a funny word isn’t it?
Root word is impress, as in I would like to see the Seattle Seahawks impress me over the next quarter of the season.
Past tense is impressed, as in the Seahawks defense really impressed me during the first half of the Monday Night Football game against the Packers.
Impressions? Now that is a totally...
Replacement Refs, QB Controversy, Inconsistencies
In part one of our four part series, NWSB examined the first four games of the Seattle Seahawks‘ 2012 schedule. Fearlessly, I predicted that the Seahawks would find themselves sitting with a record of 3-1 at this point in the season and, needless to say, I was wrong.
It’s been a frustrating campaign so far — to say the least...
When it comes to the most trusted, dignified journalists in American history, of course Geraldo Rivera will be forever atop the list. No one else has made a career out of being so right, all of the time, like the distinguished Mr. Rivera.
The latest example of Geraldo's class and dignity on television came as he discussed the Seattle Seahawks/Green Bay Packers controversial...
Playing to their level
The Seattle Seahawks went into St Louis on Sunday looking to make a name for themselves in the NFC West. After starting off the year with a heartbreaking loss at division rival Arizona, the Seahawks couldn’t afford to lose their second division game of the year.
Leave it to the Seahawks, though, and they’ll surprise you in many ways. After looking stellar...
According to Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch fully participated in practice on Thursday.
This is great news since Lynch has been limited for the first quarter of the season with tightness in his back.
Amid the influx of horror stories we have heard about replacement officials and how awful they were for the game of football, there is at least one story that sticks out from all the rest. By blowing one of the biggest calls in NFL history and essentially handing the Seahawks a win over the Packers last week, the NFL’s replacement refs changed the lives of Branford, Ontario’s...
I saw this article on BustedCoverage yesterday. Pretty awesome….
“Gino DiFelice and his Brantford family might want to send NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a gift basket for prolonging his labour dispute with the league’s officials. While the regular NFL officials went back to work last Thursday, DiFelice was revelling in his big Proline win, thanks in part to the replacement...
I love the nuggets Juan…
Marshawn Lynch is proving the last season was not an illusion. He is carrying the load big time for the Seahawks and is fantasy owners that didn’t worry about his DUI suspension. Owners can kick back with some nuggets and watch him tear it up on Sunday against the Panthers.
Week 5 Rankings
Week 5 Ride Em Or Hide Em