The Tennessean
National Football League
Preview
Carolina at Seattle
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 4, 2016
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

The Carolina Panthers may have to run the table to have a chance to return to the postseason as they prepare to visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night in a matchup of the past two Super Bowl losers. Carolina, which finished 15-1 last season. is coming off a 35-32 loss at Oakland last week to drop into last place in the AFC South with a 4-7 mark.

"We'll just keep fighting, keep playing," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "Now we still have an opportunity. We'll see what happens." Carolina has won only once in five road games and will be trying to win at one of the league's toughest venues -- Seattle is a perfect 5-0 at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks are coming off a 14-5 loss at Tampa Bay -- a division rival of the Panthers -- in which they failed to score a touchdown for the third time. Still, Seattle owns a comfortable three-game lead over Arizona atop the NFC West.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Seahawks -7. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (4-7): Carolina's last four games -- and six of the past seven -- have been decided by three points and it is 2-4 in those games, along with a one-point defeat at Denver in the season opener. Quarterback Cam Newton had a passer rating above 100 in half of his 16 games en route to winning league MVP honors last season, but he has reached triple digits once this year and has completed less than 60 percent of his passes in six of 10 games. Running back Jonathan Stewart finally broke out with 96 yards rushing and two touchdowns in last week's loss after averaging 2.7 yards per carry in his previous three games. Carolina ranks second against the run (79.5 yards) but 29th versus the pass (275.2).

ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (7-3-1): Seattle amassed 88 points during a three-game winning streak prior to last week's dud against the Buccaneers, in which quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a season-low 151 yards and was intercepted twice -- matching his season total from the first 10 games. Running back Thomas Rawls was limited to 38 yards on 12 carries in his second game back from a broken leg, although Wilson rushed for a season-high 80 yards. Star safety Earl Thomas was a full participant in practice Thursday after missing the first game of his career last week while defensive end Michael Bennett could return to the lineup for the first time since Week 7. The Seahawks are allowing a league-low 17 points per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Carolina scored the first 31 points in a 31-24 postseason win over Seattle last season.

2. Seahawks DE Cliff Avril leads the NFC with 10 sacks.

3. Panthers LB Luke Kuechly (concussion) is likely to sit out his second straight game.

PREDICTION: Seahawks 24, Panthers 20
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Carolina 4-7 L1 25.1 25.5 3-3 1-4 4-5 0-0 - - 4-4
Seattle 7-3-1 L1 20.4 17.0 5-0 2-3-1 0-2-1 0-0 - - 3-3-1
Last Meeting
Carolina Seattle
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
1/17/16 SEA 24 CAR 31 295 144 151 403 78 325
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 72.7 161 1 0
Seattle R. Wilson 64.6 366 3 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina J. Stewart 19 106 5.6 2
Seattle R. Wilson 3 32 10.7 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina G. Olsen 6 77 12.8 1
Seattle J. Kearse 11 110 10.0 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina J. Stewart 2
Seattle J. Kearse 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 55.8 2432 13 8
Seattle R. Wilson 64.7 2865 11 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina J. Stewart 127 461 3.6 7
Seattle C. Prosise 30 172 5.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina G. Olsen 58 790 13.6 3
Seattle D. Baldwin 61 767 12.6 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina J. Stewart 7
Seattle D. Baldwin 5