Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart, a former Timberline High School standout, ran for 106 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. On the first play of the game, he gashed the Seahawks for 59 yards, the longest run the Seahawks have allowed this season.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In Sunday’s 31-24 playoff loss to the Panthers, the Seahawks allowed a 100-yard rusher for the first time since last season.
That’s an impressive streak spanning 26 games, but the Seahawks were done in by one an old nemesis: a patient running back, and in the case of the Panthers, a patient quarterback.
“That’s it,” safety Earl Thomas said. “If you go back to when we played the Cowboys, Pittsburgh, those patient running backs, man, sometimes they use our aggressive nature against us. And they did that today.”
Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart ran for 106 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. On the first play of the game, he gashed the Seahawks for 59 yards, the longest run the Seahawks have allowed this season. It was a clear illustration of the issues the Seahawks had in the first half.
The Seahawks actually had Stewart contained near the line of scrimmage, but he somehow slipped out of the pile. Thomas had a chance to stop him, but slipped rushing forward.
“We stopped him in the backfield,” Thomas said. “But he just stayed patient and muddled behind his line and just dipped out on us.”
It’s a problem that had hurt the Seahawks before. In fact, the previous time the Seahawks gave up 100 yards, to Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs, Thomas pointed to the same issue.
“It’s our aggressive nature,” he said after that game. “We’re so aggressive, and we want to stay on the attack. It poses a problem against us when we play a patient running back.”
The Panthers averaged only 3.5 yards per carry, and they rushed for just 26 yards after halftime. But they did their damage in the first half, and they did it while remaining patient.