3 major storylines following the Carolina Panthers into Week 3 at Seahawks

Keep an eye on these Carolina Panthers storylines in Week 3.

Andy Dalton and Bryce Young
Andy Dalton and Bryce Young / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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What to expect from Carolina Panthers QB Andy Dalton

Who could’ve guessed this would be where I’d start this piece? Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton was named the starter in the absence of Bryce Young while he recovers for the next 1-2 weeks. That was a formality more so than an actual decision that required discerning.

This is what Dalton was brought in to do for this team. A great deal of hoopla was made in relation to Young’s physical stature and whether he would hold up to the rigors of the NFL game, so the organization knew that they needed a competent backup on the roster to not only serve as a peer mentor for their kingdom key-holder but to avoid a significant drop-off should he miss any time.

Dalton enters with a career 3-1 record against the Seattle Seahawks. Those wins certainly came at different spots, with different teams, and different circumstances. But he won’t be rattled by the environment that Lumen Field is known for – which is being one of, if not the loudest battlefield in the entire league.

This game represents Dalton’s 163rd career start. He didn’t see a massive workload in the preseason, as he was nursing a minor back injury at the tail end of training camp. In his one stint in the final exhibition, he went 6-11 (54.5 percent) for 60 yards and an interception.

Dalton's longest completion came when he found tight end Tommy Tremble for a 21-yard gain in the second quarter. So although experienced, this is a journey into the unknown from the Carolina Panthers' perspective.

The Red Rifle gets an advantageous matchup facing this Seahawks' defense. A rookie standout last season, cornerback Tariq Woolen is doubtful for the game, while fellow corner Coby Bryant has been ruled out. They have a handful of other defensive players – including safeties Jamal Adams, Julian Love, and Quandre Diggs, as well as nose tackle Jarran Reed – listed as questionable.

The Seattle defense finds itself in the caboose of the defensive rankings thus far in the season – ranking 29th in points allowed, 30th in total yards, 28th in passing yards, and 13th in rushing yards.

This presents an opportunity for Dalton to find success, and for this Panthers coaching staff – particularly head coach and play caller, Frank Reich – to be more aggressive. This will hopefully answer some questions about the playmakers on this offense that will be rejoined by their starting quarterback sooner rather than later.