Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

November 22, 2018 at 1:34 am.


–WR Devin Funchess was held out of Wednesday’s practice because of a back ailment. Head coach Ron Rivera described that as a day-to-day situation.

–DE Mario Addison didn’t participate in Wednesday’s practice because of a shoulder injury. He leads the team with 7.5 sacks, and he has been held out of other workouts for what sounds like a similar ailment.

–S Da’Norris Searcy has been in concussion protocol twice this season, but he might be available to come off the injured list to face Seattle. He has been going through some workouts, yet it might be a stretch to expect he would be in a game right away.

–TE Greg Olsen had the best receiving game of any Carolina player against Seattle when he collected 131 yards and the game-winning touchdown reception in a 2015 meeting.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: LB Shaq Thompson. He has continued to give the Panthers a boost in the middle of the defense and he often raises his level of play to those around him. The Panthers have counted on him starting to peak this season and he has followed through. This figures to be an important game for him because he played in college in Seattle for the University of Washington.

GAME PLAN: The Panthers will continue to look for explosive plays on offense by turning to their young speedsters such as wide receivers DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel. Even though he missed a throw on a potential game-winning two-point pass last week, the Panthers want the ball in quarterback Cam Newton’s hands as much as possible. He has a passer rating of above 100 for five straight games.

The Carolina defense hasn’t been as stout up front all the time, but that unit will have to be ready to contend with Seattle’s top-rated rushing attack. Putting pressure on quarterback Russell Wilson is a good idea and the Panthers still haven’t cranked up the pass rush to the level that’s needed. Getting third-down stops has also become a recent issue, so there will be emphasis on that as well for the Panthers.

–Panthers CB James Bradbury vs. Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin. Bradbury has come under increased scrutiny and much of it is related to enhanced responsibilities. He’s assigned to coverage of the opposing team’s top receiver, so he’s bound to be exposed at times. Baldwin has been able to take advantage of opposing cornerbacks throughout his career. Since 2015, Baldwin’s 30 touchdown catches rank fifth in the NFL.

–Panthers OL vs. Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner. The Panthers have done a good job of creating running lanes and the task could be heightened with Wagner willing to fill some of those holes. The line has held together well during periods of dealing with injuries, but there have been consistency concerns. Wagner has All-Pro credentials and he’ll want to show he’s on par with Carolina LBs Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis.