Panthers @ Seahawks
Final Score: Panthers 3o, Seahawks 24
Writer: Matthew Theodosopoulos (@FreeMattyTee on Twitter)
In an outcome few saw coming, the Carolina Panthers flew across the country and ran all over the Seattle Seahawks to the tune of a 30-24 victory. Carolina came out hot, starting the game with 17 straight unanswered points and never surrendering the lead for the entirety of the game. The Carolina defense stepped up and made plays when they needed to, and the Panthers running backs were able to do whatever they wanted on the ground. in the end, the Panthers kept poounding and pounding all the way to victory.
Sam Darnold: 14/24, 120 Yards, TD | 4 Carries, 30 Yards
In his second start of the season, Sam Darnold played the role of game manager perfectly for the Panthers in Seattle. He did not make any eye-popping plays, but he managed to keep some drives alive with his legs and didn’t make any major mistakes through the air. The Carolina run game was much more successful today, and was really the backbone of the offense. But Darnold didn’t make any head-scratching plays, nor did he have any turnovers, which is a nice breath of fresh air for this Carolina offense. He didn’t make any brilliant plays and he certainly wasn’t perfect, but Sam Darnold was good enough.
Chuba Hubbard: 14 Carries, 74 Yards, TD | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 25 Yards
D’Onta Foreman: 21 Carries, 74 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 1 Yard
Raheem Blackshear: 4 Carries, 32 Yards, TD | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 17 Yards
Talk about a dominant running game. The Panthers absolutely stomped Seattle on the ground. Almost every single running play felt like it would go for a minimum of 4 yards. they simply could not stop this backfield. D’Onta Foreman led the pack in touches and he ran well, mustering 74 yards on the day. He was also the only Panthers running back not to find the endzone. Chuba Hubbard, despite touching the ball less, also ran for 74 yards and also found the endzone. He was a threat through the air as well, making a handful of plays in the passing game. Although playing sparingly, Raheem Blackshear found easy success against this Seahawks’ rushing defense, adding another 32 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Credit to Carolina for finding & exploiting the weakness that is the Seahawks’ run defense. It truly felt like Carolina could get whatever they wanted on the ground throughout the game.
Chuba Hubbard fought his way to the end zone with the arm extension for the Panthers touchdown! 😤pic.twitter.com/sHEuKMm4F9
— PantherNationCP (@PantherNationC1) December 11, 2022
Demoralizing drive by the Panthers offense here.
Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear just ran through Seattle.
— The Riot Report (@RRiotReport) December 12, 2022
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Laviska Shenault Jr.: 1 Carry, 7 Yards | 4 Targets, 4 Receptions, 31 Yards
DJ Moore: 2 Carries, 6 Yards | 3 Targets
Terrace Marshall Jr.: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 18 Yards
Shi Smith: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 17 Yards, TD
Ian Thomas: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 11 Yards
Stephen Sullivan: 1 Target
Tommy Tremble: 2 Targets
A quiet day for Sam Darnold means a quiet day for all of his toys. Knowing they were getting what they wanted on the ground, Carolina intelligently got their speedy receivers involved in handoffs and other short plays around the line of scrimmage. Laviska Shenault had a few designed plays including a run and the Panthers clearly enjoy getting Shenault involved. Shi Smith caught the lone Carolina passing touchdown. Other than that, Terrace Marshall caught an unreal 18-yard pass between his legs. DJ Moore was mostly invisible, but Carolina did at least try to get him involved with designed plays getting him two rushes.
Terrace Marshall Jr with the catch of the day 😳
— PFF (@PFF) December 11, 2022
Geno Smith: 21/36, 264 Yards, 3 TD, 2 INT | 3 Carries, 20 Yards
Whew. It was an up-and-down game from Geno Smith. He started out incredibly cold, throwing an interception early to Jaycee Horn. The Seahawks’ offense would sputter early, falling to a 17-0 point deficit. Geno would rally the offense and bring the Seahawks right back into it. While he did lead the offense and he did throw for three touchdowns, he and the Seahawks still came up short. His second interception was somewhat excusable, as a Panther defender appeared to have jumped offsides, causing Geno to operate under the assumption that he had a free play. All in all, it was not one of Geno’s better games this season, which is saying something because he still played fine.
Travis Homer: 9 Carries, 26 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards
Tony Jones Jr.: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 2 Targets, 1 Reception
Is it going to be Travis Homer? Or is it going to be Tony Jones Jr.? Much intrigue and debate went on throughout the week around who would start at running back for the Seahawks in the absence of both Ken Walker III as well as DeeJay Dallas. In the end, it didn’t really matter. It was Homer who would see the work, but he would be unable to do much of anything with it. This is not entirely his fault, as the Seahawks did find themselves in quite a hole early and were playing from behind for the entire game, leading to a pass-heavy game script. There are two phases to every offense, and when an opponent forces you to be one-dimensional, it can be difficult to overcome. Tony Jones saw very little work and did much of nothing as well.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Marquise Goodwin: 1 Carry, -2 Yards | 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 95 Yards, TD
DK Metcalf: 10 Targets, 5 Receptions, 71 Yards, TD
Tyler Lockett: 9 Targets, 5 Receptions, 60 Yards, TD
Will Dissly: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 20 Yards
Colby Parkinson: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 10 Yards
Noah Fant: 1 Target
The bright spot of Seattle’s offense today was the wide receiver room. Marquise Goodwin has been a heck of a free-agency pickup, taking over the wide receiver 3 spot with great success. He made some very acrobatic catches on Sunday and was the team’s leading receiver with 95 yards and also finding the endzone. Goodwin always seems to be open in clutch situations when Geno needs him. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were able to find similar success, as each found the endzone as well. DK Metcalf led the team in targets with 10, which should be ideal for this offense every week. Ten should be ther flor in terms of target expectations for DK Metcalf, as he is a true wide receiver 1. It was an unusually quiet day form the three-headed Seattle tight end room, with Noah Fant notably being held without a catch.
Tyler Lockett scores a TD for the 6th straight game — and the body/foot control on this one is gorgeous. Lockett's been doing it for years. Always impressive pic.twitter.com/WPHFGYvRbb
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 11, 2022
Lockett tip toes in pic.twitter.com/KPkIkCuN8j
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) December 11, 2022
Geno Smith threw his 3rd TD of the day, this one to Marquise Goodwin pic.twitter.com/a2UFHVjbVj
— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 12, 2022