Panthers-Seahawks first look: Is third time the charm for Carolina?

Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton  have played the Seahawks close the past few seasons.  

Jeremy Brevard/Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina (8-8-1) at Seattle (12-4), 8:15 pm ET, FOX

Don’t blame the Seahawks if they’re bummed that Dallas posted a 24-20 comeback victory Sunday over Detroit. The Lions would have come to Seattle had they won. Instead, the Seahawks have to face a hotter opponent that has given them fits the past two seasons. Seattle won both of those matchups in Carolina but only by margins of 12-7 (2013) and 13-9 (2014). While their schemes and personnel are markedly different, the Seahawks and Panthers share plenty of similarities.

Most notable are the run-first offensive attacks spearheaded by two of the NFL’s top mobile quarterbacks (Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Carolina’s Cam Newton) and nasty defenses. The Seahawks became only the second team in NFL history to lead the league in fewest points allowed for three consecutive seasons. The Panthers are surrendering an average of 11.8 points in their current five-game winning streak, including Saturday’s 27-16 win over Arizona that featured a self-induced Panthers safety to help run out the clock. The Seahawks have lost only two home games the last two seasons.