CAR-SEA grades: Wright, Chancellor lead Seattle defense in win over Carolina
Seattle Seahawks 40, Carolina Panthers 7
Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Seattle’s Week 13 blowout win over Carolina.
Quarterback grade: Russell Wilson, 75.0
Wilson overcomes early miscues
On the very first Seattle drive, Russell Wilson made an ill-advised pass in the end zone that resulted in a dropped interception by Tre Boston—a miscue that could have cost the Seahawks three points. In the second quarter, Wilson completely missed Boston sitting on a post route from his safety spot; the Panthers’ DB was able to secure that one for the interception. Wilson improved from that point on, though, finishing the game with an 82.4 adjusted completion percentage.
Top offensive grades:
WR Tyler Lockett, 80.1
HB Thomas Rawls, 79.9
G Germain Ifedi, 79.4
WR Doug Baldwin, 78.4
TE Jimmy Graham, 77.6
Skill players nearly unstoppable
The blocking upfront was sub-par for much of the game, but RB Thomas Rawls certainly made the most out of what he had to work with. Rawls topped 100 yards on just 15 carries to average 7.1 yards per carry, and forced three missed tackles. On the receiving side, Wilson was able to spread the ball around as four different receivers topped five catches and at least 60 receiving yards. Tyler Lockett added a 75-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the third quarter for his second long play of the game. Some of Seattle’s offensive line still struggled, however, with both tackles—Bradley Sowell and George Fant—earning below-average grades and combining for 10 total QB pressures allowed.
Top defensive grades:
LB K.J. Wright, 89.5
FS Steven Terrell, 82.6
S Kam Chancellor, 81.9
LB Bobby Wagner, 78.5
S Earl Thomas, 77.6
Linebackers and secondary make the difference for the Seattle defense
Seattle’s front four was not as dominate as we are accustomed to seeing, but the back-seven more than made up for it. There were several good performances in the back half, but LB K.J. Wright’s night stood out the most. He forced one fumble, and when he was targeted in coverage, he broke up one pass and allowed just 7 yards on three throws. In Michael Bennett’s first game back, he had just one pressure on 23 pass-rushes.
Quarterback grade: Cam Newton, 38.8
Poor outing overall for Newton after missing first snap
The game unexpectedly started with Cam Newton on the sidelines for the first play, only to see Derek Anderson’s first and only pass of the night be intercepted after it bounced off Mike Tolbert’s hands. Newton threw a couple of passes into tight windows and was able to power the ball in. However, there were a few throws that he was unable to fit into a tight window—none more notable than the pass that Earl Thomas broke his leg on. If not for the contact by Kam Chancellor on Thomas, Newton would have been looking at another interception. Newton was unable to make plays when the Seahawks got pressure on him. On his 13 dropbacks under pressure, he had a passer rating of 39.6—notably the same rating he would have had if he had thrown the ball away every play.
Top offensive grades:
G Chris Scott, 78.5
C Tyler Larsen 78.2
TE Greg Olsen, 77.2
WR Ted Ginn, 72.4
WR Devin Funchess, 70.1
Offense unable to get anything going on the ground or through the air
Kelvin Benjamin continued his interesting season, where he extended his lead of penalties committed by wide receivers with two more on Sunday night. While he has been a productive receiver this season, he was kept very quiet against Seattle, with two catches on nine targets for only 18 yards as the Seahawks’ tall defensive backs were able to match up well. The only receiver who had any success was Ted Ginn, who accounted for 55 of the team’s 182 passing yards on Carolina’s only touchdown of the night, when Ginn was able to get behind the Seattle secondary.
Top defensive grades:
DT Kawann Short, 81.0
S Tre Boston, 80.0
CB James Bradberry, 79.5
DE Kony Ealy, 79.2
LB Thomas Davis, 76.5
Missed tackles hinder defense
The Panthers struggled in all phases of defense other than pass-rushing against the weak Seattle offensive line. Missed tackles turned short gains into big gains, and big gains into touchdowns. Five players combined to miss 13 tackles on the night, with Michael Griffin (five) and Ryan Delaire (three) being the worst offenders. Sunday night was actually Griffin’s lowest-graded game since the 2012 season.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: K.J. Wright, LB, Seahawks
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