The offensive line has been the story all season, although the narrative has ebbed and flowed.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Let’s start with the Seahawks’ first two offensive plays of their 31-24 playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers.

On the first play, the offensive line got beat so badly that running back Marshawn Lynch lost 3 yards. On the next play, the line got beat again, and quarterback Russell Wilson compounded the problem by throwing an errant pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Both times, the Panthers created so much disruption up front that the plays never had a chance to develop.

PANTHERS 31, SEAHAWKS 24


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The offensive line has been the story all season, although the narrative has ebbed and flowed. At the beginning of the season, the question was whether the issues along the offensive line would derail the Seahawks’ Super Bowl chances. Later in the season, the offensive line improved and came together. But against the Panthers, Carolina’s defensive line caused problems, and the issues that had plagued the Seahawks earlier in the season reappeared.

This isn’t to say all the problems fell on the offensive line. Wilson held onto the ball too long and took a costly sack at the end of the third quarter that forced the Seahawks to punt the ball back to the Panthers.