By The Associated Press
CAROLINA (4-8) at SEATTLE (7-5)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Seahawks by 3 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Panthers 6-6; Seahawks 6-6.
SERIES RECORD: Seahawks lead 10-4.
LAST MEETING: Seahawks beat Panthers 30-24, Dec. 15, 2019 in Charlotte.
LAST WEEK: Panthers were on bye; Seahawks beat Rams 27-23.
PANTHERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (29T), RUSH (17T), PASS (29), SCORING (25).
PANTHERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (19), RUSH (25), PASS (14), SCORING (14).
SEAHAWKS OFFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (19), PASS (7), SCORING (5).
SEAHAWKS DEFENSE: OVERALL (30), RUSH (31), PASS (20), SCORING (28).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders minus-4; Seahawks plus-4.
PANTHERS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB D’Onta Foreman. The journeyman running back has found a home in Carolina, rushing for 100 yards in four of his past six games since the team traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. Foreman has run for 526 yards and four touchdowns during that span, while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. At 6-foot-1 and 236 pounds, Foreman is a load to bring down especially late in the games when the opposing defense wears down.
SEAHAWKS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Geno Smith has redefined many of the preconceived notions about his ability as a quarterback this season. He can add another mark to his remarkable season with a solid performance against the Panthers. This week, Smith can become the first QB in league history to start the season with 13 straight games with at least 60% completion rate and a passer rating of 80 or higher. Smith is currently tied with Aaron Rodgers (2011) and Peyton Manning (2009) at 12.
KEY MATCHUP: Can Seattle stop Carolina’s run game? The Seahawks were terrific at stopping the run during their four-game win streak at midseason. Since then, opponents have made adjustments and found ways to exploit Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks have given up 615 yards and a 5.3 yards per attempt average over the past three games. Carolina has rushed for at least 169 yards in four of the past six games.
KEY INJURIES: Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks said that Foreman and DE Brian Burns, who sustained injuries prior to the bye week, are expected to play. Foreman did miss practice on Wednesday. … Seattle has major questions at running back because of injuries to Kenneth Walker III (ankle) and Deejay Dallas (ankle). The Seahawks already lost Rashaad Penny for the regular season to a leg injury.
SERIES NOTES: Despite being in different divisions the Seahawks and Panthers have played fairly often since 2012. The teams met every year in the regular season from 2012-16 and again in 2018-19. They’ve also met three times in the playoffs, most famously the 2005 NFC championship game in Seattle won by the Seahawks to clinch their first Super Bowl berth.
STATS AND STUFF: The Panthers are 0-5 on the road this season. … The Seahawks are the only opponent remaining on the Panthers’ schedule with a winning record. … Interim head coach Steve Wilks is 3-4 since taking over for the fired Matt Rhule. … QB Sam Darnold will make his second start of the season after leading Carolina to a win over the Denver Broncos before the bye week. … P.J. Walker will be the team’s backup QB after Baker Mayfield was released earlier in the week. … The Panthers have allowed 26 sacks this season, 11th fewest in the league — a marked improvement over the previous two seasons. … DE Brian Burns already has a career-high 10 sacks, including five in the past four games. … LB Shaq Thompson needs 11 tackles for his fourth straight 100-tackle season. … The Seahawks play four of their final five games at home, the only road trip to Kansas City on Dec. 24. … Smith leads the NFL in completion rate at 72.7% and is the only QB in the league above 70%. … Smith’s 367 yards passing last week was a career high. … WR Tyler Lockett has touchdown catches in his previous five games and needs one to set the franchise record for consecutive games with a TD reception. Lockett needs 164 yards receiving to become the second player in franchise history with four straight 1,000-yard seasons joining Steve Largent. … OLB Uchenna Nwosu had two sacks last week adding to his career-high total of nine for the season. … CB Tariq Woolen tied for the league lead with six interceptions. He had set the franchise rookie record for interceptions in a season. … The Seahawks are tied for second in the league with 21 takeaways.
FANTASY TIP: WR D.J. Moore was never a factor this season when Baker Mayfield was under center. But with Darnold back at quarterback, Moore had 103 yards receiving and a touchdown prior to the bye week against the Broncos and could be in for a decent week against a Seattle team that is 20th in the league in pass defense.
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