CAR-SEA Grades: Impressive Newton throws game-winner to drop Seahawks
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Panthers’ 27-23 win over the Seahawks:
– QB Cam Newton (+4.9) posted his fourth game over +1.0 and a nice rebound out of the bye week after his lowest-graded game of the season in Week 4. Connecting eight times on throws aimed more than 10 yards downfield before taking advantage of the Seattle coverage bust on the game-winner, Newton was on target with the majority of his patented fastballs.
– It was a rough afternoon for RT Mike Remmers (-5.2), as he was beaten handily by Seattle DE Cliff Avril. Giving up six hurries (four to Avril, one was erased by penalty), Remmers proved mostly susceptible to the bull rush. The most damaging example being at 4:20 of the first quarter, where Avril drove through him to get a piece of Newton’s arm, sending a fluttering ball into the waiting arms of Kam Chancellor.
– DT Kawann Short (+5.4) not only continued his run of big grades and maintained his place among the league’s leading interior defenders, he also filled up the stat sheet. His six total pressures (two sacks, a hit and three hurries) were joined by a batted pass, three defensive stops and two more pass rush wins where the pass was away before he could register pressure.
C Ryan Kalil (+5.5)
DT Kawann Short (+5.4)
QB Cam Newton (+4.9)
G Andrew Norwell (+4.3)
LB Luke Kuechly (+3.5)
– QB Russell Wilson (+5.0) and TE Jimmy Graham (+3.0) appear to be finding their groove. The two connected eight times against the Panthers, and more than once had to react on the fly to make a play work—doing so in unison twice in the fourth quarter of a tight game, like you’d expect to see from longtime teammates.
– As mentioned above, DE Cliff Avril (+4.4) had his way as a pass rusher, but he also took care of Remmers and the Carolina tight ends in the run game, four times beating blocks to record a tackle for loss or short gain. Avril has graded well in each game this year, but this was the first time his work against the run (+2.6) had produced a higher grade than his pass rush (+1.5).
– An eventful night in coverage for Seattle safety Earl Thomas (+4.6), as all three of the first-half targets that came his way were knocked away (two passes defensed) or intercepted and his lone challenge in the second half was the fourth-quarter coverage mix-up that saw the game slip away.
QB Russell Wilson (+5.0)
TE Jimmy Graham (+3.0)
S Earl Thomas (+4.6)
DE Cliff Avril (+4.4)
S Kam Chancellor (+2.3)