Carolina Panthers Week 15 preview versus the Seattle Seahawks.
When the NFL schedule was originally announced fans of the Carolina Panthers expected this Week 15 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks to have playoff implications. Arguably the biggest non-divisional rival for Carolina as these two teams have (since 2011) met eight times and twice in the playoffs, but Sunday’s outcome will only have an impact on the visiting Seahawks.
Currently the fifth seed, Seattle is chasing their division leader, San Francisco, who they face to conclude regular season play in two weeks. In turn, they are being chased my the Minnesota Vikings for an opportunity to face whoever wins the dreadful NFC East in the first round.
The debut of interim coach Perry Fewell didn’t go as anticipated for the Panthers. Suffering a second embarrassing defeat to the Atlanta Falcons a week ago, Carolina faces an uphill climb if they hope to salvage any more wins this season. Doing so could prevent finishing last in the NFC South, something that has only occurred four times in franchise history.
2019 SEASON: CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-8) vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-3)
KICKOFF: Sunday, December 15 at 1:00 PM ET
TV: FOX (Broadcast Coverage Map)
LOCATION: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
WEATHER: 55 degrees, 62% humidity, 6mph WSW wind, 10% precipitation
LAST MEETING: 30-27, SEAHAWKS – November 25, 2018 (WEEK 12)
WHAT TO WATCH:
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Veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy joined the Panthers this offseason in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time in his career. That dream is gone but will a locker room full of multiple one-year contracted veterans, in addition to other key contributors with expiring contracts survive the offseason?
Coach Ron Rivera has already been fired and although Fewell is essentially interviewing through his performance, unless something changes this week, second-year owner David Tepper is likely to look outside the organization for its next leader.
No surprise there but how will these veterans attack their final few games with nothing on the line. For many, it’s an opportunity to continue showing they can help a team into the future and for Carolina, there are key decisions to be made regarding McCoy, Kyle Allen, Mario Addison, Vernon Butler, James Bradberry, Bruce Irvin, Tre Boston and more.
Retaining general manager Marty Hurney appears to be the plan but how he elects to handle these contracts and Cam Newton will impact the future of the franchise for years.