Week 3 Recap: Panthers Were Sleepless in Seattle

By Rockin’ Reese

The Carolina Panthers were still searching for their first win of the 2023-24 NFL season. To do it, they would have to do it with Andy Dalton at quarterback, instead of Bryce Young. More importantly, they would have to do it in one of the NFL’s loudest stadiums…Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Seattle Seahawks had other plans.

Panthers vs Seahawks Recap

In the first quarter, the game started off great for the Panthers, as they forced the Seahawks to go 3 and out on the opening possession. The Panthers responded by driving to Seattle’s 25-yard line. However, an 11-yard sack by (Seahawks linebacker) Boye Mafe & a holding call sent the Panthers backward. Despite losing the yards, the Panthers were still able to score first, when (kicker) Eddy Piñeiro made a 47-yard field goal. The Seahawks responded by driving to Carolina’s 25-yard line, but (quarterback) Geno Smith threw an incomplete pass on 3rd down & 7.

The Seahawks were able to tie the game with a 43-yard field goal from (kicker) Jason Myers. The Panthers were forced to punt, after Dalton was sacked for the 2nd time in the game. After 2 passes from Smith & a 7-yard run from (running back) Zach Charbonnet, the Seahawks ended the quarter in Panthers territory.

In the second quarter, Smith completed a 34-yard pass to (wide receiver) DK Metcalf, putting the Seahawks at Carolina’s 15-yard line. However, a holding call & an 11-yard sack by (Panthers linebacker) Brian Burns would stall the drive, even though the gained a majority of the yardage back. Myers would kick a 35-yard field goal to give the Seahawks the lead. The Panthers would go 3 and out on the next possession, punting the ball back to the Seahawks. After a 9-yard run , then a 36-yard run from (running back) Kenneth Walker III, the Seahawks were in the red zone for the 2nd consecutive possession.

Charbonnet ran 1 more yard, but the drive stalled at Carolina’s 15-yard line, as Smith would throw 2 incomplete passes.  Myers would make his 3rd field goal of the day, as he made one from 33 yards out to give the Seahawks a 6-point lead. The Panthers quickly responded on their next possession. Despite (running back) Miles Sanders being injured & 2 false start penalties, Dalton & (wide receiver) DJ Chark made a highlight reel play. Dalton completed a bomb to Chark, who spun past (Seahawks safety) Julian Love for a 47-yard touchdown to tie the game. Piñeiro would make the extra point to help the Panthers regain the lead.

Panthers

The Seahawks would have a short possession, as Smith took a 6-yard sack on 2nd down, then threw an interception to (Panthers linebacker) Deion Jones on the very next play. Despite starting on Seattle’s 28-yard line, the Panthers only gained 2 yards & had to settle for a 44-yard field goal from Piñeiro. The Seahawks had their 1-2 wide receiver punch of Metcalf & Tyler Lockett get them to Carolina’s red zone, but their drive only resulted in getting to the 19-yard line.

After Smith threw 3 straight incomplete passes, Myers had to make a 37-yard field goal (his 3rd of the quarter & 4th in the game) to bring the Seahawks back to a deficit of 1 point. With less than 45 seconds remaining in the 1st half, the Panthers tried to make something happen, but their drive stalled at Seattle’s 48-yard line. After the Panthers punted, there was only enough time for Smith to kneel down & end the half. The Panthers had a 13-12 lead.

In the third quarter, the Panthers were forced to go 3 and out to start the 2nd half. The Seahawks had a good drive going, but like they did most of the game, they stalled at the red zone. They got to Carolina’s 20-yard line, but a bad running play by (running back) DeeJay Dallas cost them a yard, then Smith threw another incomplete pass. For the 5th time, Myers made a field goal (this one being 39 yards long). With the Seahawks regaining the lead, the Panthers tried to make it a short one.

They got as far as Seattle’s 36-yard line, but Sanders lost a yard on a run play, then Dalton threw 2 straight incomplete passes. Piñeiro missed a 55-yard field goal attempt, snapping his streak of 25 consecutive field goals. More importantly, the Seahawks would start near midfield. After Smith completed a 14-yard pass to (tight end) Colby Parkinson, a Walker run was negated by an illegal blindside block on Metcalf.

However, Smith would overcome that with a 36-yard pass to Walker to put them in Carolina’s red zone. An illegal formation penalty temporarily took them out of it, but a 5-yard run from Walker & Smith completing a 12-yard pass to (tight end) Noah Fant finally put the Seahawks in a 1st & goal situation at Carolina’s 4-yard line. The Seahawks turned to Walker to put it in the end zone. He got 3 yards on his 1st run & nothing on his 2nd run, but he finally scored a touchdown on his 3rd run.

Myers would kick the extra point & the Seahawks had a 9-point lead. The Panthers nearly had a 3 and out, but the Seahawks were called for a pass interference on 3rd down. Dalton had some big passes to (wide receiver) Adam Thielen & (tight end) Tommy Tremble to end the quarter.

Panthers
Sep 24, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) rushes for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In the fourth quarter, the Panthers were on Seattle’s 1-yard line. Sanders would run for a touchdown, then Piñeiro made his 2nd extra point of the game to bring Seattle’s lead down to 2 points. The Seahawks responded with a perfect 3-minute drive. Dallas had a 29-yard return on the kickoff, followed by Smith completed big passes to Parkinson & Fant to enter Panthers territory. Charbonnet had 3 solid runs to get them in the red zone, but the last one came with a gift. After Charbonnet ran to Carolina’s 14-yard line, Jones was called for unnecessary roughness, which moved the Seahawks to the 7-yard line.

Walker would run for a touchdown on the very next play, then Myers made his 2nd extra point to returnn the lead to 9 points. After both teams traded punts, the Panthers tried to make something happen with less than 6 minutes remaining in regulation. They seemed to pick up a 1st down on a 4th & 2 play, but it was negated by an illegal shift penalty. Now with 4 & 7, the Seahawks would cause a turnover on downs, as (defensive lineman) Jarran Reed sacked Dalton for an 8-yard loss.

The Seahawks smelled blood, as they would now start at Carolina’s 27-yard line. Strong runs from Walker & Charbonnet put the Seahawks with a 1st & goal at the 2-yard line. Charbonnet lost 3 yards on the play, but Smith covered him on 2nd down. He completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to (wide receiver) Jake Bobo, then completed a 2-point conversion pass to Lockett. With over 4 minutes to go, Dalton connected on a series of passes to (wide receiver) Terrace Marshall Jr., Thielen, Sanders, & Chark. The Seahawks aided the Panthers during this drive, just after the 2-minute warning.

After Dalton’s 2nd consecutive incomplete pass to Chark, (defensive lineman) Mario Edwards Jr. was called for roughing the passer. Dalton finished the drive with a 10-yard pass to Marshall, then a 15-yard touchdown pass to Thielen. Piñeiro made his 3rd extra point of the game, but when he tried for an onside kick, Bobo (who scored his 1st NFL touchdown, earlier in the quarter) recovered the ball. Smith would kneel down & the Seahawks would give their fans a 37-27 victory.

Dalton completed 34 out of 58 passes for 361 yards & 2 touchdowns. The run game for the Panthers was non-existent, as they only ran the ball 14 times for 44 yards. Sanders had 9 carries for 24 yards & a touchdown. Thielen had 11 catches for 145 yards & a touchdown. Chark had 4 catches for 86 yards & a touchdown. Jones had the interception. Burns & (fellow linebacker) Yetur Gross-Matos had the only sacks for the Panthers.

Next up, the Panthers will be home on Sunday, as they play the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings (who lost at home to the Los Angeles Chargers last week, 28-24). The Panthers may not have ran into Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan, but they were definitely sleepless in Seattle, thanks to the Seahawks.

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