Carolina Panthers 13 Seattle
Sunday December 16,
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Play Of The Day: Matt Hasselbeck threw a desperation
pass up for grabs that Deion Branch managed to tip to himself for Seahawks
only touchdown. Unfortunately, the score came with one second left on the
clock and the game already out of reach.
Handouts to the Standouts: Bobby Engram was one of the few
bright spots for the Seahawks on Sunday, grabbing 9 passes for 84 yards and
topping the 1,000 yard mark the first time in his career. Engram also recovered
a Shaun Alexander fumble that kept a drive alive in the second half of the
snapper Jeff Robinson, signed early last week, put each and every one of his
snaps right on the money and both Josh Brown and Ryan Plackemeier had better
outings than they’ve had in weeks.
Things That Made Me Go “Blech”: Chris Gray was beaten badly on the
first two running plays of the game for the Seattle
offense setting the tone for a very long afternoon indeed.
be outdone, Rob Sims was schooled all afternoon by Kris Jenkins.
Leonard Weaver dropped two passes; both with room to run in front of him, and one
killed a drive in Panthers territory.
Seattle offense punted 4 times on the opponent’s
side of the 50.
Offense: The running game was non-existent.
The passing game was erratic and fraught with dropped passes. The offensive
line play was atrocious.
if you think I’m being too harsh on the team … here’s your first half possessions
– Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt. The first three possessions were 3
& outs. The fourth ended after an end around failed on 3rd
and short. The fifth drive ended on a dropped pass on third and short.
The sixth on an incomplete pass. This is what happens
to a team that can’t run the ball.
and it was windy, which seemed to bother Seattle a lot
more than it bothered Carolina.
Defense: Zero sacks, zero interceptions,
and zero fumbles. The usually opportunistic Seattle defense just couldn’t seem to shift into high gear on Sunday
morning. Although they didn’t play a bad game, only yielding points in fourth
quarter after being left on the field for most of the day by the inept offense,
they were unable to generate the kind of pressure in the passing game that
has been the team’s hallmark all season. Credit must be given to Panthers
tackle Jordan Gross, who was simply masterful against Patrick Kerney, the
NFL’s sack leader heading into week 15.
Deon Grant and Brian Russell were both strong in stuffing the run and the secondary
did a good job keeping everything in front of them.
Special Teams: It would appear that the long-snapper
had quite a bit to do with the troubles in the kicking game. Ryan Plackemeier,
who was playing awfully over the last few weeks, was much improved, pinning
the Panthers inside their own 10 yard line three times. Josh Brown hit his
only field goal attempt of the day, albeit a chip shot. The kick and punt
return coverage teams also showed some improvement and Nate Burleson still
looks sharp on returns.
The Golden Microphone Award: I’ll give Dick Stockton and Brian
Baldinger a pass on this game. I don’t think anyone
could have made the first three quarters of this game interesting.
Random Notes: Kelly Jennings make a great defensive
play on the Panthers second drive of the game that prevented a touchdown.
Carolina would miss the FG in the heavy wind on
the next play.
Grant and Marcus Trufant had double coverage downfield on a flea-flicker.
Either it was heady football or great closing speed. In any case, they were
there and prevented a big gain.
Summary: While it’s tempting to say it was
“just one of those games”, the same old problems seemed to have risen to the
surface for this game, namely dropped passes, strange play calls and the total
lack of a running game. The Seahawks will need to rebound with a better offensive
performance next week to prove that this was the exception and not the rule.
Next Week: The Regular Season Home Finale.
Dylan is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped
in Eagles Country and firmly believes that “Live At Leeds” is the single greatest
live performance since a deaf Ludwig Van debuted his final symphony in Vienna
in 1824. You can e-mail Dylan at NJSeahawksFan@gmail.com .