The Seahawks' running game stalled and Cam Newton was incredibly efficient, but Seattle's red zone defense (and Russell Wilson) kept them in the game.
The Seahawks scored on their final five drives on Sunday.
That’s how you win on the road.
Here are three impressions from Seattle’s 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers.
A running game reverse
The Seahawks entered Sunday with an NFL-best 154.3 rushing yards per game, while also averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
So Seattle would surely churn through the Carolina run defense, right?
The Seahawks finished with just 80 rushing yards and 2.9 yards per carry. Their most consistent contributor was second-year running back Chris Carson, who produced 55 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Quarterback Russell Wilson was more effective through the air, completing 22 of 31 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Trailing 27-20 late in the fourth quarter, he found second-year wide receiver David Moore down the sideline for a 35-yard score. He later hit Tyler Lockett on a 43-yard strike to set up the winning field goal.
But an essential story of Sunday’s game was also the Panthers’ rushing attack, however. Carolina cruised to 217 rushing yards, 8.3 yards per carry and a touchdown. Versatile running back Christian McCaffrey piled up 125 rushing yards, 7.4 yards per carry and a rushing touchdown, as well as 11 catches, 114 receiving yards and another score.
Newton produces a perfect half
When was the last time the Seahawks allowed an opposing quarterback to complete 100 percent of his passes in a half of football?
That would require quite a bit of research to figure out. But Carolina quarterback Cam Newton accomplished that feat on Sunday, completing all 14 of his pass attempts in the first half for 159 yards and a touchdown. He also added 25 rushing yards.
For the game, Newton went 24 for 29 for 255 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while adding 63 rushing yards.
Seahawks red-zone defense stands up
The Panthers marched inside the Seahawks’ 20-yard line on seven of their first eight drives on Sunday, and they made it inside the 10-yard line on six of those drives.
They could have produced a lot more than 27 points.
The Seahawks stayed in the game, thanks to a Seattle defense that turned the Panthers away on downs in their opening drive, produced a Bradley McDougald end zone interception in the third quarter and held Carolina to two Graham Gano field goals as well.
The relatively modest point total disguises the fact that Carolina consistently shredded the Seahawks defense, to the tune of 478 total yards and a whopping 8.4 yards per play. The Seahawks also failed to produce a sack and recorded just three tackles for loss.
But when the field got shorter, the Seahawks defense tightened up.