Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/4/13
I have taken some huge hits from readers on this site about my thoughts of Seattle and an assignment I did on why the Seahawks won’t make the playoffs this season.Just so everyone knows, a writer can be wrong every now and then. This may be one of those cases.The Seahawks look primed to give San Francisco, Atlanta, Green Bay and New Orleans a true run for their money.As Seattle opens the 2013 season, the only real question that needs to be answered is can this team overtake the 49ers, who are still licking their wounds after the Super Bowl loss to Baltimore, as the top dog in the NFC West?The fact the Seahawks could be even better than last season is a good thing for the NFL and Seahawks fans.The Carolina Panthers are trying to prove they can be a player in the race for a playoff spot this season. Cam Newton, in his third season, will try to prove last season was just a sophomore slump and hopefully, he can return to his rookie form.Can Steve Smith continue to thrive as the lead receiver as he continues to defy Father Time?How will the defense with Luke Kuechley and now Star Lotulelei in the middle play this season?Both teams should have a direct impact on the playoffs, whether involved or a team that can be a spoiler.And since both are playing each other this weekend, here are some bold predictions for this game on Sunday.Cam Newton becomes Superman againRemember when NFL defenses could not figure out how to stop Newton two seasons ago? Remember when Newton scored as a goal line threat and left defensive tackles woozie? I think this is the year Newton pulls it all together (He had better. He is back on my fantasy league team). Look for a motivated Newton to throw for over 300 yards and score two touchdowns on the ground.Newton will use his legs to move the chains and keep the Seahawks offense honest all game long.Sidney Rice, Golden Tate - 100 yards receiving for eachWhile the team made the move to get Percy Harvin, the high profile receiver is out with a hip injury. The door is open for Sidney Rice and Golden Tate to make the Seahawks fans forget about him. While Russell Wilson can beat you with his legs and his arm, look for him to play more from the passing side and help both receivers catch passes for 100 yards each.I still think Marshawn Lynch can be a 100-yard rusher in the game, the passing game will be effective in this contest.Earl Thomas gets three interceptionsI think this could be a huge year for Thomas.While Richard Sherman gets a lot of the publicity and there is talk about whether he is the best cornerback in the NFL, even if Darrelle Revis says no. Watch Thomas get all the accolades this week and shows why he will be a surprise this season.Thomas had five interceptions last season and looks to improve on that. While I think Newton will be much better in this game, he will still show he is erratic at times.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Hit Stick: What is the one sports video game fans need to buy this holiday?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Louisville's Lamar Jackson wins 2016 Heisman Trophy

Carmelo Anthony ‘skeptical’ of new CBA before Thursday deadline

Erik Spoelstra on sitting Hassan Whiteside: ‘This league is for competitors only’

Andrew McCutchen admits trade rumors left him ‘on edge’

Leicester City put up three goals in first 20 minutes against Manchester City

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Houston regent: Lane Kiffin ‘was not a safe hire’

Adam Jones takes a shot at Terrelle Pryor

Jeff Fisher, Les Snead deny ‘toxic’ relationship reports

‘Field of Dreams’ 24-diamond complex clears final hurdle, will build on site from film

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Winners, losers and what is still pending from baseball's 2016 Winter Meetings

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 14

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

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

Winners, losers and what is still pending from the 2016 Winter Meetings

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker