A “MUST WIN” Game For The Seahawks Against Panthers

October 25th, 2014-The Seattle Seahawks haven’t lost two consecutive games since 2012 but with a loss last week against the St. Louis Rams it happened again in 2014. In the middle of the Percy Harvin trade drama just 2 days before the game you might say the defending world champions are struggling to get their swag back from last year, key losses from last years team, injuries are all contributing factors for the Seahawks struggles this year. I will be the first to admit that winning the Super Bowl you always need a bit of luck and this season has definitely put that theory to use. Last year the Seahawks were very fortunate that there were no major injuries, they got all the right bounces, and all the players remained fresh throughout the whole entire season. After letting key players go from last season (Red Bryant and Chris Clemons the most notable players) the defense hasn’t been as dominating this year. Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett seem fatigued at the end of games as a result of playing more snaps and the defense as a whole hasn’t produced the sacks and turnovers that it did last year. The Seahawks defense are ranked 19th in the league in points given up as opposed to last year ranked number one. Another reason for their struggles is defense’s inability to get off the field and holding their opponents on third down and long yardage situations. NFL QB’s have one of the highest third down QBR ratings against our defense of anyone in the league. The lack of pressure on the quarterback has attributed along with major injuries in the secondary primarily to Jeremy Lane, Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner.

During their two game losing streak it seems like the Seahawks just hasn’t played a perfect game. One week it would the offense the next week it would the defense but they haven’t played a complete game yet this season. Last week was no different agains the Rams, special teams killed them their chances of winning this game. A fake return on a punt, a big return on a kick off, and a fake punt. Having dominated time of possession, total yards special teams was the difference in the game.

Seattle will hope to play a complete game in all three phases to snap a two game losing streak against the Carolina Panthers. Losing is not something that the Seahawks and 12th Man are used to. It’s a must win game as they try and make a playoff push and also not fall back too far behind the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC West title. Home field advantage seems to be a long shot now and winning the west may be the only way the Seahawks can make the playoffs this year. Despite losing three games this year which equals the total from all of last year, the Seahawks had a chance to win every single game and have not blown out in any of them. Just a play here or there they could have pulled out a win, it is literally a game of inches.

KEYS TO THE GAME: 1) Must contain Cam Newton. The Seahawks must keep Newton in the pocket, they cannot let him use his legs to make plays and be Russell Wilson “like”  and get Kelvin Benjamin (who can very be the rookie of the year). 2) Need to improve on special teams. They cannot give up any non offensive points this week, otherwise they’ll have the same result. 3) Defense needs to get turnovers. What made the Seahawks so great last year isn’t happening this year. They’re on pace for only 18 takeaways as opposed to 38 last year which led the league.

INJURIES: Derrick Coleman, Bobby Wagner, Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell, Max Unger, Zach Miller, Brian Walters

TRANSACTIONS: Phil Bates has been taken off the practice squad and added to the 53-man roster. LJ Fort was signed to the practice squad as full back which will be the first time he’s played the position.

GAME PREDICTION: Seahawks 24 Panthers 20

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