Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers 1/17/16 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Panthers 31, Seahawks 24
January 17, 2016
Kicking off our Sunday NFL action in the Divisional Round, we had a nice-looking matchup featuring the Seahawks and the Panthers. Seattle was fresh off a miracle finish against the Vikings on a missed field goal last week, and the Panthers were well-rested and fresh after the bye. This was obviously a big game, as the winner would earn the right to move on to the NFC Championship Game.
Let’s check out a few of the notable players and stats from this one so we can figure out why things happened the way they did. Afterward we’ll look ahead to next weekend to see what’s on tap.
What Happened: Scoring-wise, this game was a tale of two halves. Carolina dominated the first two quarters, building up a whopping 31-0 lead at halftime. They would need almost all of it to withstand Seattle’s comeback.
The scoring started on a 4-yard Jonathan Stewart run for the game’s first TD. Luke Kuechly picked off a Russell Wilson pass and returned it 14 yards for another score later in the quarter.
The Panthers kept the gas pedal down in the second quarter, logging a 1-yard Stewart TD and a 19-yard Greg Olsen TD catch from Cam Newton. In between those was a 48-yard Graham Gano field goal that accounted for all of Carolina’s scoring.
After the break, the Seahawks finally found some traction on offense. Jermaine Kearse snagged a 13-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson, who threw another from 33 yards out to Tyler Lockett later in the quarter.
Kearse caught another TD from three yards in the fourth quarter, and Steven Hauschka nailed a 36-yard field goal to get the Seahawks within one score.
That would be all the comeback Seattle could muster, however, and the game ended with a 31-24 Panthers win. They’ll go on to the NFC Championship next weekend against the Cardinals.
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The Stars: Stewart was the big star here, and the Panthers are thrilled to have him back. He rushed 19 times for 106 yards and two scores as Carolina chewed clock. Cam Newton was efficient on 16-of-22 passing for 161 yards and his TD. His favorite target was Greg Olsen, who caught six balls for 77 yards and a TD.
Russell Wilson showed lots of fight in this one, going 31-of-48 for 366 yards and three touchdowns. He did have two picks, though. Kearse had a great stat-line with 11 grabs for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
The Goats: The Seahawks really couldn’t get much of a rush going; Marshawn Lynch toted just six times for 20 yards. It made sense, though. They were playing from behind the whole game and had to abandon the run.
Wilson’s two early picks set the team in an quick hole, but he didn’t get much protection on either play. It was simply a flat first-half effort from Seattle overall.
Injuries: The big injury in this one happened to Panthers TE Greg Olsen. He left due to a shoulder issue during the fourth quarter, but was able to return after being tagged as questionable. We’ll have to see how he feels this week in practice.
Outlook: Up next week for Carolina is a trip to the NFC Championship game against the incoming Cardinals. That one is January 24 at 6:40 PM ET on FOX.
As for the Seahawks, they’ll go into the off-season disappointed after another failed attempt to repeat their Super Bowl success.
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