The Seattle Seahawks fell out of first place after stumbling against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14, now they will return to Charlotte to face their old rivals the Carolina Panthers. Only this time, they will be defending against a new face at quarterback, Kyle Allen.
This is the first time in the Pete Carroll era the Seahawks have faced the Panthers without Cam Newton. The only other time Seattle played Carolina without a Newton start was in 2016 when Newton was benched for the first series for a team violation, and backup Derek Anderson threw an interception on the first play.
Now Newton is done for the season, and his time as a Panther is likely over.
The next chapter in the Seahawks vs. Panthers rivalry will now involve Allen trying to lead Carolina to an upset victory. Allen started the year red hot after taking over for the injured Newton in Week 2. Allen guided the Panthers to four-straight wins, without throwing an interception in any game. The prevailing thought was perhaps Carolina had found their next quarterback.
Then Allen was rocked by San Francisco, throwing three interceptions in a 51-13 defeat. Things looked to get back on track with a 30-20 win over the solid Titans the following week but then Allen proceeded to lose the next five starts.
The wheels have fallen off for Allen and the Panthers, who sit at 5-8 and have been eliminated from postseason contention for the second straight year. Allen has thrown for 16 touchdowns against 12 interceptions for 2,750 yards and a passer rating of only 82.9.
Although Allen had a solid showing against the Saints in New Orleans during a Week 12 shootout loss, throwing 3 touchdowns and not turning the ball over, it is clear he is not a long term option at quarterback.
This game might be on the road, but this is one where the Seahawks defense should absolutely bounce back after being torched by the Rams on “Sunday Night Football.”