Seattle Sports Center – The latest chatter on Seattle sports teams.
NFL 2016 NFC div PO Carolina Panthers vs Seattle Seahawks

NFL 2016 NFC div PO Carolina Panthers vs Seattle Seahawks

November 9, 2016

The Panthers jumped out to a 31–0 halftime lead and held off a second half rally from the Seahawks to prevail 31–24 and advance to the NFC Championship for the first time since 2005.[28]

Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart ran for 59 yards to the Seahawks 16-yard line on the first offensive play of the game, then scored a touchdown from four yards out to give Carolina an early lead. Then, on the Seahawks’ second play, Luke Kuechly intercepted a pass from Russell Wilson and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown, giving Carolina a 14–0 lead less than four minutes into the game. After forcing a Seahawks punt, Carolina mounted a 15-play, 86-yard drive which featuring a 27-yard reception by tight end Greg Olsen and culminated in a Stewart 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Wilson then threw his second interception on the first play of the next drive, this time to Cortland Finnegan on the Seattle 29-yard line, and a Graham Gano 48-yard field goal put Carolina up 24–0. After a Seahawks three-and-out, Carolina drove 54 yards and scored another touchdown with a Cam Newton 19-yard pass Olsen. Now trailing 31–0, Seattle drove to the Carolina 18-yard line but turned the ball over on downs when Doug Baldwin was tackled a yard short of a first down on 4th-and-5. Seattle had another chance to cut the deficit at the end of the half, but Steven Hauschka missed a 55-yard field goal as time expired.[29]

Seattle got on the board on the first drive of the second half after Tyler Lockett returned the opening kickoff to 50 yards to midfield and Carolina was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty. Wilson found Jermaine Kearse for a 13-yard touchdown. After forcing a Panthers punt, Seattle drove 63 yards for another touchdown. Wilson rushed for 14 yards, completed a 16-yard pass to Kearse, and eventually finished the drive with 33-yard scoring pass to Lockett, cutting the deficit to 31–14. Seattle drove into Carolina territory again on their next drive which included a 17-yard first down run by DeShawn Shead on a fake punt, but Wilson was sacked for a 14-yard loss by Josh Norman and they were unable to score. On their next drive Wilson completed a 27-yard pass to Lockett that was originally ruled incomplete but overturned on review, then threw another touchdown to Kearse from three yards out to get to within 10 points with 6:11 remaining. Carolina was forced to punt again on their next possession, but Seattle was unable to find the end zone and settled for a 36-yard field goal. Now trailing by a touchdown with 1:12 remaining and only one timeout left, Seattle attempted an onside kick which was recovered by Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, allowing the Panthers to run out the clock and preserve the victory.[30]

Wilson finished with 366 yards on 31 of 48 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Newton had 161 yards and one touchdown. Stewart gained 106 yards on the ground, the first time in 27 games that Seattle had allowed a 100-yard rusher. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch returned to the lineup after missing eight games but was held to just 20 yards on six carries. Kearse was the leading receiver with 11 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Their 31 points was a new Panthers franchise record in a playoff game. Seattle lost despite outgaining Carolina 280–72 in total yards during the second half.


Leave a Reply