Yes, I know it's a week or 6 or however many days early. But I'm just to fuggin excited. Specially seeing Seahawks stuff all over the place...here's my writeup on this week's game. If you don't like reading then that's too bad. This is a scripted version of what will soon be a video preview on an inferior site (may explain some minor spelling/grammar errors)...anyways leave you're thoughts!
"With all hatred and fan hood aside, I can tell you that the Seahawks are a good team, in fact...they're a great team; however I can also tell you that the football Gods did us a favor by scheduling a game at 10 AM Seattle time, and on the road in Carolina...because Seattle is a whole new team when it's early in the AM and have to play outside of their 12th man.
Did you know? Last year Seattle played 4 road games at 10 AM PST, and lost all except one, which was an OT nail biter at Chicago? Those losses came against teams such as Detroit, Miami and St. Louis...all of
which finished in the lower half of the NFL standings with losing records.
So what about last years nail-biter in Carolina? Ironically enough that game was scheduled at 1:05 PST, not 10 AM PST, which who knows, could've given Seattle a little bit more of an edge than their usual east coast slate...
but let's keep in mind that there were two potential plays (no stretch of ball by murphey and cams horrible 1 yard dink) that could have changed the outcome of that game, causing yet another road loss for Seattle.
Now, whenever I bring that game up to Seattle fans here, they mention that it was early in the season and
Wilson was still getting used to the NFL, otherwise they would have "kicked the living snot out of us". Do you
think they realize that the Panthers have only improved after that point of the season as well? I mean, we did
finish on a 4 game winning streak after another frustrating 2-8 start.
So what's my point here? Both teams have improved drastically. However, the Seahawks still have that awful
hangover every time they play a morning game on the road. Plain and simple, Seattle on the road is half of
what Seattle is at home.
So with all these myths aside about football gods, let's get to the basics. Let's get back to football.
Here are my three keys to victory for the Carolina Panthers....
1) Put pressure on the Hawks. Russell struggled against a mediocre Green Bay defensive front in his Week 3
preseason dress rehearsal. Wilson was sacked 4 times while throwing 2 interceptions. He showed that
he too can crumble if an offensive line is not existent. If Monsters Inc. and this new Carolina defense can give
even half of the effort they did in Baltimore, we will have a good day. Besides, ever heard of a Sophomore Slump?
2) Win the special teams battle. Both teams have excellent Defenses and it SHOULD be a very low scoring game likelast year. The difference in this one will be Ted Ginn Jr. A few seasons ago in the NFL opener against Seattle, Ginn took a KR back to the house and then followed up with a PR touchdown to seal a win for the Niners. I know,it's kind of hard to feel confident about the words "Special Teams" and "Carolina" put together. As of lately they have never really existed. But, then we signed Ginn. (Gano and Nortman deserve some love too).
3) Last but certainly not least, we need to get our offense rolling. Seattle has THE greatest Secondary in the NFL. But outside of that they really are a vastly overatted Defense. Bobby Wagner was behind Kuechly last year in tackles, and like Luke, was a rookie. But the other two linebackers? Not even a bother. As for their front four, they are beat up. Clemons is the only real threat, however he has been injured after his ACL tear in the playoffs. This will hopefully be good for our woeful offensive line. In fact it may even be a confidence booster for them after this one, regardless of the outcome. As for Cam and the backs/receivers...they just need to find their groove, because we all know that once they get hot, things go well. Let's hope Cam doesn't have accuracy problems this Sunday.
Last, but certainly not least my Key Matchup for Week 1 will be Greg Olsen VS The Seattle Linebackers. Here in
Carolina we know how capable Olsen is of torching a defense. Seattle will focus their secondary on 89, 11, 19
and who knows, maybe even 14. This leaves plenty of 1 on 1 match-ups between Olsen and their linebackers.
In Seattle's dress rehearsal, Green Bay ran a seam route through the linebackers multiple times...all of which turned out successful. This is Olsen's route. Olsen seems to be one of Cam's favorite targets outside of Smitty, and Olsen's speed and catching ability should be able to shake off the Seattle defense and hopefully have a field day. In last years game, Olsen was only targeted 3 times, which had only 2 catches for around 40 yards. I sure hope Shula thinks this one over, and realizes that Olsen can be the game changer here.
Call me a homer but I believe Carolina will come out victorious in this one, with a 21-17 victory over Seattle.
With Irvin suspended, Clemons and company hurt, a morning road game for Seattle, and the fact that they
open up on the national stage at home versus their rival the following week, I feel Seattle won't leave Carolina
feeling as confident as they did when they had arrived. Don't overlook us, Seattle.