The Seattle Seahawks need their tough defense to make things easier on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The plan worked perfectly against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.
Wilson threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate late in the third quarter, while the defense frustrated Newton and the Panthers throughout Sunday's 16-12 road win.
Wilson threw for a season-high 221 yards and shook off two third-quarter interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Of course, it helped that the defense kept the Panthers (1-4) out of the end zone and harassed Newton into a career-low 141 yards passing.
''The defense hasn't had any problems this year,'' Seattle receiver Sidney Rice said. ''They played well enough for us to win all year, all five games. On the offensive end, we need to pick it up just a little bit.''
Carolina had two chances to take the lead in the final minutes Sunday only to come away empty each time.