4 critical observations from the Panthers win at Seahawks in Week 14

(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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What were some critical observations from the Carolina Panthers’ impressive road win against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14?

It’s been several years since the Carolina Panthers played a meaningful game in December. Not since 2018 with a Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly-led franchise have they competed for anything with purpose and hope late into the campaign.

The Panthers went into Lumen Field in Seattle and came up with their first road win in an upset over the playoff-hopeful Seahawks, securing their first two-game win streak in more than a year.

Going into the game, Seattle looked like a formidable opponent that could’ve put the nail in the coffin of Carolina’s playoff hopes. Instead, Steve Wilks‘ group totaled another 200-plus yard rushing performance as they torched the Seahawks’ bottom-five run defense while forcing two interceptions of the resurgent Geno Smith.

Sam Darnold, struggles and all, came up with another clean outing with zero turnovers for the second game in a row and looks to be the starter moving forward heading into the final four contests.

At 5-8, the Panthers are now one game back from the division lead after Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were blown out on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. Fans have also now found themselves in a predicament: have hope for a potential NFC South division title or want a chance at one of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft?

Even though there are still four games to go, there is plenty of football left to decide how the Panthers’ outcome for the season is decided.

Without further ado, here are four critical observations from Carolina’s road win over Seattle.