Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks 2.30pm Monday (NZ Time)
The NFC West has been one of the more even divisions over the past few seasons however the Seattle Seahawks although leading the division have the weakest record of any division leading NFC team. What’s going wrong? Maybe a case of believing their own hype re their hard hitting defends. Losing last week to easy beats the Tampa Bay Buccaneers certainly provided a reality check – and they only scored 5 points in the process.
This week Cam Newton brings his underachieving Panthers into town. Another team that have totally flattered to deceive. From a Super Bowl runner up last season to a team that lose this weekend and they are probably out of any playoff contention. What went wrong in less than 12 months has been written about a lot by NFL beat reporters.
Back to Seattle. Quarterback Russell Wilson is starting to become an “A List” celebrity. Married in the offseason to singer Ciara which was highly publicised in all the gossip magazines Wilson has not been his usual playing self. He definitely is not 100% health wise. Perhaps the abstienance pre wedding has now drained him of all energy.
— Independent Style (@Indo_Style_) July 8, 2016
Another player who has been very quiet this season both on and off the season is cornerback Richard Sherman. Usually the ultimate trash talkers both his play and talking has gone very quiet. Funny how people change when you are not winning
The most influential Seahawks these days is probably defensive captain Kam Chancellor. The locker room motivator is the face of the so called ”Legion of Boom”, a self-made term for the Seattle defensive backfield. Recently Chancellor apologized for his contract hold-out at the beginning of last season as in hindsight he realises that the team chemistry was upset because of it. A similarity to the Panthers – Seattle were a Super Bowl finalist in 2015 however limped into the playoffs the following season only to be undone – ironically by the Panthers
Here the Panthers have been given over a touch down start of 7.5 points – a sign of how far they have regressed however it is odd to see Seattle favored by more points than the scored last week ! The Seattle home crowd is one the NFL’s most passionate and loudest. After their loss last week the Seahawks will be wanting to get their season back on track.
The Panthers have gagged away two games against AFC West opponents, in the Chiefs and the Raiders, that they really should have won, and are a better team than their 4-7 record. One advantage for them is Seattle’s offensive line made up of rookies and is struggling. Newton could have a field day here – unless the Legion Of Boom are on form. Take the points with the Panthers however the Seahawks should prevail in a close one.
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