SEATTLE at CAROLINA
10 a.m., Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: Ch. 13. Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM.
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The series: This is the sixth meeting between the teams. Seattle leads, 3-2. The last time the teams met, Seattle claimed a 16-12 victory at in Charlotte on Oct. 7, 2012. The teams faced off once in the postseason, with Seattle defeating Carolina, 34-14, in the 2005 NFC Championship game at then-Qwest Field (now CenturyLink) to advance to Super Bowl XL.
What to watch: Cornerback Brandon Browner will be a game-time decision due to a hamstring injury suffered at practice on Wednesday. If Browner can’t go, Walter Thurmond would likely be his replacement. In passing situations, Thurmond will move inside to play nickel cornerback, and Byron Maxwell will take his place at the outside position. Seattle coach Pete Carroll also said defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring) will be a game-time decision, although he was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report. Defensive end Chris Clemons (knee), offensive lineman Michael Bowie (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jordan Hill (strained biceps) have been ruled out for today’s game. … For Carolina, Quintin Mikell likely will start in place of expected starter Mike Mitchell, who’s doubtful with a calf injury. Mikell played the past two seasons in St. Louis before signing with Carolina on Monday. Rookie running back Kenjon Barner (foot) and cornerback James Dockery (thumb) have been ruled out for Sunday. Receiver Domenik Hixon (hamstring) and starting left guard Amini Silatolu (hamstring) are questionable.
The pick: Panthers, 21-17. Prime numbers
3 Russell WilsonQB5-11206second
The Wisconsin product gets his first real opportunity to show he can avoid a sophomore slump.
64 J.R. SweezyOL6-5298second
Converted defensive lineman will have his hands full against Carolina’s physical defensive front.
23 Bobby WagnerMLB6-0241second
The former Utah State player will shoulder most of the task of keeping his eyes on and keeping up with Cam Newton.
72 Michael BennettDE6-4274fifth
If Cliff Avril does not play, the Hawks are counting on offseason addition Bennett to put pressure on the quarterback.
1 Cam NewtonQB6-5245third
Talented signal caller needs to let the game come to him and not force the issue.
89 Steve SmithWR5-918513th
Wiley veteran still has the speed and athleticism to take over a game.
98 Star LotuleleiDT6-2315first
The first-round selection out of Utah has been a force inside during exhibition play.
41 Captain MunnerlynCB5-10195fifth
Expect the Seahawks to target the smallish cornerback.