Seahawks use 21-point 3rd to beat Panthers
SEATTLE: For 22 minutes, it looked as if Seattle was the team with only one victory. Then the real Carolina Panthers showed up.
The holes Jonathan Stewart ran through early were suddenly plugged. Jimmy Clausen started making rookie mistakes, the result of little time to throw. And the Panthers allowed the worst rushing offense in the NFL to run for 126 yards in the second half.
"We started off fast ... offensively, I think defensively as well," Carolina coach John Fox said. "I think they made some good adjustments defensively, and started pressuring us quite a bit more and they were a little bit too much for us to handle."
In the third quarter, Marshawn Lynch scored on two 1-yard runs and Lofa Tatupu returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown to help the Seahawks overcome a 14-0 deficit for a critical 31-14 victory Sunday.
Lynch added a 22-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the first threetouchdown day of his career and Seattle overcame injuries to its top two receivers and an awful first-half performance to stay even with St. Louis atop the NFC West.
Seattle (6-6) broke a twogame losing streak.
"It was in the look in their eyes, it was in every hit, every conversation," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "We just needed to step back, for some reason it got away from us in the last month or so and it just didn't feel right. We haven't been feeling right about what we're capable of doing.... And then halftime it finally just jumped."
For much of the first half, Carolina (1-11) looked like the team that was inches from winning at Cleveland a week ago. Stewart gladly exposed Seattle's biggest weakness during its recent skid, the inability to stop the run. -Ap