Carolina Panthers starting quarterback Bryce Young was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, paving the way for veteran Andy Dalton to get the start. The “Red Rifle” came into Sunday 3-1 against the Seahawks. Facing the 30th ranked passing defense presented an opportunity for the Panthers to finally get their offense rolling.
The Carolina defense forced a 3-and-out to start the game and Eddy Pineiro gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead with a 47 yard field goal on the opening drive. The Panthers were already down two starters on the defensive side of the ball and cornerback CJ Henderson left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Starting safety Xavier Woods also left the game in the first half; he was later ruled out with a hamstring injury. Seattle took a 9-3 lead with field goals on their next three drives before Dalton connected with DJ Chark for a 47 yard touchdown to take a 10-9 lead with 4:54 to play in the first half. Seattle quarterback Geno Smith was intercepted by linebacker Deion Jones at the Seattle 28-yard line. The Panthers were flagged for a false start and could only must 4 yards with the short field. They settled for the field goal and led 13-9 with 2:39 left in the second quarter. Seattle answered with a field goal of their own and went into halftime down only one point.
The Panthers went 3-and-out to open the second half and the Seahawks woke up. They punted only once in the second half, scoring three touchdowns and a field goal to go up 37-20 in the fourth quarter. A bevy of false starts, penalties, and a missed field goal plagued the Panthers. There were eight total falls starts for the game. Carolina was able to find the end zone a couple of times with Miles Sanders scoring his first touchdown as a Panther and Adam Thielen scoring his second touchdown in as many weeks to bring the Panthers within 10 with 1:40 to play. That was as close as the Panthers could get as they fell to 0-3 with the 37-27 road loss.
Dalton threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers while his counterpart, Smith, threw for 296 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Thielen led the Carolina receiving corps with eleven catches for 145 yards and a touchdown while DK Metcalf led Seattle with six catches for 112 yards. The Panthers could only muster 44 net yards on the ground while Kenneth Walker III carried the ball 18 times for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Seahawks.
The Panthers host the Minnesota Vikings next week at Bank of America Stadium.