Jeff Gravley

Panthers find positives but get "Russelled" again

Posted September 8, 2013

Cam Newton was quick to hand out advice at his press conference. “Let’s not panic,” he said. “It’s just the first game.” He’s right but this does mark the fifth straight year the Panthers have lost their season opener. Their last first game win was 2008 in San Diego and that year was the last time they had a winning record when the season was over.

There were some positives to point out in the 12-7 loss to Seattle.

You saw a regular season playbook instead of the vanilla version used in the preseason. There were some quarterback draws called and designed Cam Newton keepers. The Panthers used more creative formations than in the preseason and more misdirection plays. The numbers for Newton were 38 yards rushing and 16 of 23 for 125 yards passing. His passing total could have been fatter but for a drop by tight end Greg Olsen. It was a very well designed play where the slot and wide receiver on the right side ran go routes and Olsen slipped in underneath. There wasn’t a man within 15 yards of him.

DeAngelo Williams outrushed the Seahawks Marshawn Lynch 76 to 43. But the lasting image of Williams is the fumble at the Seattle 8 with 5:34 on the clock and the Panthers down 5. DeAngelo took the blame for the loss but his quarterback quickly defended the 8 year pro.

“You can’t blame this loss on one play,” Newton said. “There were a lot of missed opportunities.”

Newton: You can't pin this on DeAngelo Newton: You can't pin this on DeAngelo

Cam’s counterpart, Russell Wilson was pressured by the Panthers front four. Star Lotulelei nearly got his first NFL safety. Sack man Charles Johnson did capture the former NC State quarterback for a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery all on one play in the red zone.

Wilson: I'm taking it one snap at a time Wilson: I'm taking it one snap at a time

But even when the Panthers were able to get to Wilson, he sometimes was able to complete a pass. In the third quarter, Greg Hardy and Dwan Edwards met up with Wilson at the same time. “I got blasted,” Wilson said afterwards. But he was able to get the ball off a nanosecond before contact and complete what Coach Pete Carroll called a “ridiculous” third down throw to Doug Baldwin.

The former NC State and Wisconsin quarterback has always had great touch passing the football but now he’s able to fit passes into incredibly smaller windows than when he was in college. Against the Panthers, Wilson was 25 of 33 for 320 yards. His lone touchdown pass was placed where only Jermaine Kearse could catch it. It was Seattle’s only touchdown of the day but enough for a winning 12-7 margin.

As Wilson jogged off the field, quite a few red-shirted, NC State fans were there at the tunnel to give one more cheer to their former quarterback. He had some amazing days during his collegiate days with the Wolfpack.

And now, Russell Wilson is 2-0 as an NFL quarterback in the state he once called home.

13 Comments

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  • mahans99 Sep 10, 8:34 p.m.

    Carolina stinks and will until they lose their deadbeat owner. Rivera is not a good coach, and would have been canned in any respectable program. Richardson is just like the Fords in Detroit, happy to put a mediocre product on the field as long as he's making a comfortable margin.

  • Gunnstigator Sep 9, 11:11 p.m.

    So far about the only consistent positive I see in the Panthers is their defense. They're not going to win many games with the offense performing like it is now.

    RW is a class act on and off the field - I wish there were more like him in the NFL.

  • vance203 Sep 9, 2:52 p.m.

    Did the Panthers get "Russelled" or did they really get "Panthered"?

  • johnny9 Sep 9, 2:52 p.m.

    Reverse the QBs from yesterday and the Panthers would have won by 3 touchdowns.

    SCam is about 10 spots below the class that Russell is.

  • shakennotstirred Sep 9, 2:12 p.m.

    Please Panthers... get rid of coach, Scam and all other supermen/show-boaters/gang-signers/dancers etc. Geez, if they act like this when they lose, I couldm't stand to see them win.

  • CrossOver Sep 9, 12:22 p.m.

    Watch the interview with Wilson, such an articulate, class act. He has not changed and he... View More

    — Posted by Deacons

    Cosigning

  • Obamacare for everyone Sep 9, 12:17 p.m.

    The differences between Russell Wilson and Cam Newton are like night and day. Cam Newton is WAY... View More

    — Posted by Boot-the-DC-Tyrant

    Jason Campbell should be available before too long. :D

  • Obamacare for everyone Sep 9, 12:15 p.m.

    Newton is the antithesis of Russell Wilson. A classless loser SCam is.

  • wkmeekins Sep 9, 12:11 p.m.

    you must not remember going to South Carolina

  • 78FJ40 Sep 9, 11:36 a.m.

    Russell always beats "Carolina" - nothing new there.

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