October 8, 2012 in Sports

Defense pesters Panthers in Seahawks’ win

Aaron Beard Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle’s Brandon Browner, left, and Marcus Trufant keep Carolina’s Louis Murphy out of the end zone late in the fourth quarter.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bruce Irvin raced by an offensive lineman and chopped down on Cam Newton’s arm as the quarterback loaded up to throw downfield.

The ball popped free and into the hands of a teammate, capping the latest strong performance by a Seattle Seahawks defense that made life miserable for Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate with 35 seconds left in the third quarter, while the defense kept the Panthers’ offense out of the end zone in a 16-12 win Sunday.

Wilson shook off two third quarter interceptions – including one returned for a touchdown – and outperformed Newton on a struggle-filled day for the Carolina offense, which finished with only 190 yards.

That included forcing Newton into an incompletion on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 with 3:47 left.

“It wasn’t easy; it might have looked like it was, but it wasn’t easy because of all the stuff they do,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “And they tried all their options and stuff, and we were able to stay in sync with it, so it’s a fantastic job defensively.

“Nothing can express it more than standing up on the goal line down there and finishing. That was awesome. It’s what defensive players and coaches live for – those challenges and opportunities – and the guys came through in a big way.”

Wilson threw for 221 yards, while Marshawn Lynch ran for 85 yards for the Seahawks (3-2) in their first road win.

Newton threw for a career-low 141 yards on 12-for-29 passing and he was sacked four times. He also ran for 42 yards.

“When you know what guys are doing and you still can’t beat them, they’re just good at what they do,” said Newton, last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick. “Let’s call a cat a cat and a dog a dog. They’re a great defense. We knew what they were going to do before the game even started.”

The Panthers’ only touchdown came on Captain Munnerlyn’s 33-yard interception return early in the third quarter.

Carolina started the season with plenty of optimism with the return of Newton to lead a high-scoring offense, but the Panthers (1-4) couldn’t rebound a week after losing 30-28 to the Falcons on Matt Bryant’s field goal with 5 seconds left.

The offense never found a rhythm while Newton was frequently off target, completing just 3 of 15 passes for 40 yards in the first half.

“We know he’s a great dual-threat quarterback, but once we bottle it up and frustrate him, we know he’s going to tank a little bit,” Seahawks safety Earl Thomas said. “We were able to do that today.”

Carolina had two chances to take the lead in the final minutes Sunday only to come away empty.

After driving the Panthers to the 1 for the fourth down play, Newton rolled to his right and spotted Ben Hartsock open in the end zone, but he threw a one-hopper.

Then, after the Seahawks took an intentional safety, Carolina got the ball back at its own 31 with 54 seconds left and no timeouts. That’s when Irvin, a rookie, stripped Newton for his second sack. Defensive tackle Alan Branch fell on the loose ball to seal the win.

Late in the third quarter Brandon Browner ripped the ball away from DeAngelo Williams and recovered the fumble to give Seattle a short field. Wilson moved the Seahawks to the Carolina 13, then found Tate over the middle. Tate spun off a hit from Thomas Davis around the 4 and into the end zone for the 13-10 lead.

Steven Hauschka added his third field goal to make it 16-10 with about 101/2 minutes left.

Seattle337316
Carolina037212

Sea—FG Hauschka 22

Sea—FG Hauschka 36

Car—FG Medlock 32

Car—Munnerlyn 33 interception return (Medlock kick)

Sea—Tate 13 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick)

Sea—FG Hauschka 44

Car—Onatolu safety

A—72,676.

SeaCar
First downs1713
Total Net Yards310190
Rushes-yards35-9819-82
Passing212108
Punt Returns5-391-13
Kickoff Returns3-484-81
Interceptions Ret.0-02-30
Comp-Att-Int19-25-212-29-0
Sacked-Yards Lost2-94-33
Punts3-40.77-45.4
Fumbles-Lost1-13-1
Penalties-Yards7-653-25
Time of Possession35:4624:14

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Seattle, Lynch 21-85, Wilson 5-12, Obomanu 1-11, Turbin 4-6, Robinson 2-3, Tate 1-(minus 1), Ryan 1-(minus 18). Carolina, Newton 7-42, Stewart 4-16, Pilares 0-12, D.Williams 6-6, Murphy 1-3, Tolbert 1-3.

PASSING—Seattle, Wilson 19-25-2-221. Carolina, Newton 12-29-0-141.

RECEIVING—Seattle, Rice 5-67, Miller 3-59, Baldwin 3-37, Tate 3-31, Turbin 2-8, Edwards 1-10, Lynch 1-9, Robinson 1-0. Carolina, Smith 4-40, LaFell 3-44, Olsen 2-37, Stewart 2-15, Murphy 1-5.

MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.

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