Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is one of the league’s toughest quarterbacks to take down – except when Bruce Irvin is across the line of scrimmage.
Irvin looks to extend his uncanny success against Newton when the sixth-seeded Seattle Seahawks visit the No. 1 Panthers on Sunday in the NFC Divisional Round.
A fourth-year outside linebacker, Irvin has registered seven sacks in four career games against Newton, including a pair in Carolina’s 27-23 victory at Seattle in Week 6. The number is even more remarkable since the Seahawks have a total of 13 sacks in five games versus Newton.
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“Maybe it’s because we are both from Atlanta," Irvin jokingly told reporters Thursday when quizzed about his ability to get to Newton. “It’s weird because I always play good against Carolina. I don’t know what it is."
Bruce Irvin has "walk off sacked" Cam Newton for the SEA win twice in his career. His rookie year and 2014.
Irvin had two sacks apiece in each of his three regular-season matchups against Newton and added another one in Seattle’s 31-17 victory over the Panthers in last year’s playoffs. He’s made them count too, taking Newton down twice to stall a last-minute drive in October 2014 and forcing a fumble to preserve a 16-12 win in 2012.
“He’s really hard to take down, so I don’t really know how I’ve gotten him down seven times, to be honest with you," Irvin said. “He’s bigger than most of our D-line. He’s like 6-5, 260. So he’s a really big dude. Big lower body, big legs. You’ve got to really wrap him up and just take him down man-to-man."