Can the Pan­thers be stout against Seat­tle’s run­ners?

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Seahawks At Panthers - BY JOURDAN RODRIGUE jro­[email protected]­lot­teob­server.com

Five fear­less pre­dic­tions for Sun­day’s Carolina Pan­thers (6-4) game against the Seat­tle Sea­hawks (5-5):

1. LE­GION OF ZOOM

Pan­thers wide re­ceiver Devin Funchess is doubt­ful af­ter deal­ing with a back in­jury all week. Carolina doesn’t have a nat­u­ral fit at the No. 1, or “X,” to take over his snaps but will ro­tate speed­sters DJ Moore, Cur­tis Sa­muel and po­ten­tially Damiere Byrd into the po­si­tion. That means the Pan­thers have the op­por­tu­nity to come out of the gate hot and keep up the speed all game.

Seat­tle is mid­dle-of-the-pack in both in­ter­cep­tions this year (10) and sacks (28), so Sun­day presents a great op­por­tu­nity for quar­ter­back Cam New­ton to have a clean pocket and take care of the ball. That will keep the Pan­thers away from mo­men­tumshift­ing plays in their op­po­nents’ fa­vor.

3. A ‘PENNY’ FOR PAN­THERS’ THOUGHTS

The Sea­hawks’ rush­ing game has be­come a threat be­hind Chris Car­son, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis. Each back has more than 300 rush­ing yards this sea­son, and their abil­ity is a huge con­cern for a Pan­thers de­fense that has strug­gled to tackle cleanly and pre­vent ex­tra yards. The Pan­thers will al­low a 100-yard sin­gle rusher for the sec­ond time this sea­son, but in­stead of lead back Car­son, it will be the rookie, Penny.

4. SA­MUEL IN STRIDE

Sec­ond-year re­ceiver Cur­tis Sa­muel has been in­cred­i­bly pro­duc­tive in lim­ited snaps for the Pan­thers, scor­ing a touch­down on 24 per­cent of his touches. That will con­tinue Sun­day. Sa­muel will get six tar­gets and catch five passes for 88 yards and a touch­down.

5. PAN­THERS BREAK A TWO-GAME LOS­ING STREAK

Seat­tle’s run game could present some big prob­lems for the Pan­thers. But New­ton will get the ball in his hands late in the fourth quar­ter and mount a win­ning drive that re­deems his missed two-point con­ver­sion pass from last week. Pan­thers im­prove to 7-4 with a 24-17 vic­tory.

JOHN CORDES AP

Rookie Rashaad Penny is one of three Seat­tle Sea­hawks run­ning backs with at least 300 yards rush­ing this sea­son. He could add to that to­tal Sun­day against a Pan­thers de­fense that has trou­ble tack­ling of late.

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