ReFo: Seahawks @ Panthers, Week 8

In a sloppy encounter, the Seahawks edged the Panthers to curb a two game losing streak and halt talk of discontent .Cole Schultz breaks it down.

| 3 years ago

In a sloppy encounter, the Seahawks edged the Panthers to curb a two game losing streak and halt talk of discontent .Cole Schultz breaks it down.

ReFo: Seahawks @ Panthers, Week 8

2014-REFO-WK08-SEA@CARReminiscent of last year’s low scoring contest between these two teams, the 2014 edition didn’t quite live up to the dominant defensive performance that the score would indicate. Both offenses committed unforced turnovers in the red zone and mental miscues aplenty.

The Panthers made it into the redzone on each of their first three drives, but that they came away with just six points in this game should tell you everything about how self-destructive their offense was. Kelvin Benjamin let a touchdown pass sail through his outstretched hands on Carolina’s second drive, and Cam Newton lost the ball on a zone-read keeper that ended up being the Panthers’ third and final trip inside the Seattle 20. As it were, the difference between that almost touchdown and the actual field goal they did score on that drive ended up being the margin of defeat.

Not to be outdone, Seattle imploded completely unprovoked on several of their own drives, including a Russell Wilson fumble on his own zone-read attempt and a Marshawn Lynch drop that became a pick in the end zone. In a play that summed up this game almost to a tee, Seahawks center Steve Schilling rolled the ball into Wilson’s shins late in the third quarter despite his signal caller being under center, resulting in the Seahawks’ last turnover. But a win is a win, so let’s look at some takeaways from this fumble-filled outing.

Seattle Seahawks –Performances of Note

Cliff Avril, DE, +4.7

Breakdown: His teammate on the other side may have come away with the two sacks, but Avril’s six pressures were equally impactful in this game. Four of those came against the overmatched Nate Chandler (with one more nullified by penalty), and with a fumble recovery that took sure points off the board, Avril put up his highest graded game of the season.

Signature Play: With 13:38 to go in the final quarter, Avril tossed Chandler aside, forcing a hurried throw and an incompletion from Newton, bringing up third and long.

Russell Wilson, QB, -1.5

Breakdown: He’ll likely be remembered for his excellent touchdown throw on the Seahawks’ game-winning drive, but what Wilson did in the 59 minutes prior was rather underwhelming. His grade is skewed by a fumble on one of what seemed like several hundred zone reads in this game, but all too often his throws were a bit off the mark, none more painfully obvious than a missed touchdown toss to a wide open Cooper Helfet midway through the third quarter.

Signature Stat: Graded at +1.0 against four or fewer rushers versus -1.4 against the blitz.

Bruce Irvin, OLB, +2.8 pass rushing

Breakdown: A relatively quiet day until the final minute, Irvin made his impact felt with a couple of clutch sacks to close out the Panthers’ last minute disaster of a drive. A couple of offsides penalties earlier on are all that kept Irvin from a grade in the green.

Signature Play: Irvin earned his first sack against Byron Bell with a strong head fake inside before jetting back outside nearly untouched.

Carolina Panthers –Performances of Note

Byron Bell, LT, -5.4

Breakdown: I can only assume that the recently retired Jordan Gross has had to change his phone number to stop a barrage calls from the Panthers’ front office, so bad has been Bell’s play this year. Not allowing a ton of pressure as far as quantity goes, only a few quick throws from Newton prevented Bell from surrendering more than just a sack and a hurry.

Signature Play: On the near safety at 9:33 in the fourth quarter, Bell allows Michael Bennett inside with such speed that Newton barely reaches the top of his drop before having to shrug him off and throw the ball away.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, 0.1 receiving

Breakdown: Tasked with the unenviable job of getting open against Richard Sherman, Benjamin can claim to have won the battle, even though he dropped a much-needed touchdown. Using every inch of his 6’5” frame to high point balls against tight coverage, the rookie racked up 94 yards against the All-Pro. That’s Sherman’s highest yardage total since Week 4 of 2012.

Signature Play: With 8:39 to go and the score tied, Benjamin split the coverage of Sherman and Earl Thomas on a deep post, reeling in a 51 yard reception which would set up a Carolina field goal.

Thomas Davis, LB, +2.2

Breakdown: Leading the Panthers in tackles and defensive stops, the 31-year old linebacker showed that both age and ACL surgeries are just a number, recording his fourth consecutive game with four or more stops.

Signature Play: 1:31, Q2. Tracking Robert Turbin as Seattle set up a screen, Davis exploded forward to plant him into the turf for a short gain.

PFF Game Ball

An excellent day rushing the passer, some solid work against the run, and a fumble recovery to boot? All in a day’s work for Cliff Avril.


  • Chris

    Wilson for MVP

    • Captain Checkdown

      Seachickens fans kinda wished Wilson is 2006 Roethlisberger, more like Trent Dilfer.

      Too bad Eli Manning didn’t let Alex Smith get the praise for his outstanding 2011 full of touchdowns (lol 17 TDs in today’s NFL) and get the contract Wilson will get next offseason (at least the got a consolation prize from the Chiefs).

      One has a ring, got the right to start in week one of the rookie year, the other was benched for the likes of JT O’Sullivan, Shaun Hill, Russell Wilson before Russell Wilson and Troy Smith, having people chant for David Carr and tons of OCs.

      • marcjohn

        what did Roethlisberger do in 2006 besides miss the playoffs? so Russell should get in a motorcycle accident? i’m confused lol

        • Captain Checkdown

          Missed the playoffs, threw 23 picks (league leader despite missing a game) and dwindled after two strong years to start his career.

          They are often compared because they won a super bowl after only two seasons, collected tons of wins and played the game manager role. Too bad for Wilson he wasn’t a first round pick and aside from Brady, Favre and Brees (the last two early second-rounders), QBs draft edout of the first round over the last 25 years are not destined for greatness.

          Before people started praising Wilson and Foles, the best 3rd rounder over this period was Matt Schaub, that guy who threw a $5.5 million interception on a fake punt just yesterday.

          I leave a quote from football outsiders after Jake Plummer’s regression from 98 to 99:

          “At the start of the 1999 season, Jake Plummer was being celebrated as one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks, the man who would make the Cardinals respectable again. By the end of the 1999 season, Plummer ranked as the league’s worst quarterback”

          Gotta say Wilson and Foles are pretty close, Geno Smith and the rookies are saving them, in fact, the NFL will be starving from good QBs after those terrible classes, once the elite 4 (plus Ben and Rivers) retire we’ll go back to the early 00s aka the zero-to-hero era full of undrafteds and late-rounders starting (Warner, Gannon, Garcia, Delhomme, Brady, B. Johnson). The only good 1st rounder was Manning, the same way Luck will be the only one in a few years.

          • godcock

            This guy riding NFL scout dick so hard you can see the ESPN logo coming out of his mouth.

          • [email protected]

            Joe Montana was a 3rd round pick.

          • marcjohn

            where has anybody compared them? ben played horrible in the super bowl. Russell could have won mvp. your third round premise is dumb too i’m sure you would have been dissing montana too during the 82 and 83 seasons.

        • Icon0clast

          Probably get accused of rape too.

  • Captain Checkdown

    I’m not a subscriber, can some tell me what Jamarcus Russell Smith grade is and where does he rank among all QBs? I know he has 6 negative grades out of 7.

    Teams will never learn, 3rd rounders play like 3rd rounders sooner or later, see Nick Frauds, from 2 picks to 2 picks per game.

    • Guest

      Are you even speaking english? What are you talking about?

    • Jason Pevitt

      21st with an overall grade of -1.9. He’s having a down year get over it

      • [email protected]

        Actually he’s having a very good year, don’t believe everything you read on PFF. This week he leads a clutch 80 yard drive to win the game, the week before he becomes the first player in NFL history to run for 100 and pass for 300.

        • Chris

          15/27 on throws passed the LOS, under 200 total yards? Leading one game winning drive does not save you from a poor stat line like that.

          • [email protected]

            I didn’t realize that it was his job to put up a good stat line.

          • Chris

            So when they lose but he has a good statline all we hear is how good he played in a loss. But when he plays poorly and the wins it doesn’t matter how he played the team won? Pick a side and stick to it br0.

          • [email protected]

            Playing good is not the same as a stat line. Jay Cutler put up a good stat line. Even in a bad week he still is flawless in the game winning drive.

          • Chris

            Because his defense puts him in position to win it with 1 drive? How many other QBs can suck it up for 3.5 quarters and then “win it” with 1 drive? Most teams are down multiple scores by that point if they don’t have one of the best defenses in the league.

          • [email protected]

            Russell Wilson puts himself into position to win it with one drive. Even in his worst game of the year he did nothing to lose his team the game, he just failed to take advantage of opportunities to win comfortably.

          • eYeDEF

            I wouldn’t exactly say he ‘sucked it up’ for 3.5 quarters based on his stat line. The pick should have been a touchdown until it bounced off Lynch’s hands in the end zone and turned into an interception. That one play, the mistake being the receiver’s, would have made a considerable difference in his stat line.

          • Chris

            Don’t try to bring logic into this

          • eYeDEF

            lol. ok.

  • Dietrich

    Why are so many people obsessed with Wilson that aren’t Seahawks fans?

    • [email protected]

      I don’t know, they love to come and troll like Captain Checkdown.

      • eYeDEF

        Seriously though Scott, I think a large part of that presence is because you’re an easy guy to troll bait. Last week on the seahawks refocus there were over 100 comments, with about half coming from you getting baited. Most of the other refocus summaries for the week had a grand total of zero comments.

        • [email protected]

          Oh i know, i do that to amuse myself. I like messing with trolls but that particular one was very boring and i wound up wishing i hadn’t bothered.

    • Chris

      Trick question – Seattle doesn’t have fans.

  • [email protected]

    You can complain about the first 55 minutes of this game, but the Seahawks dominated the last 5 minutes. That is what matters in the end.

  • JT

    Every pass rusher has a positive grade against the Panthers…..we have no tackles that can block anyone. Even worse the Panthers had their guards out this game and had 4 undrafted FAs playing with Kalil which meant the offense was doomed before the game even started.