The biggest question after that first half here in Charlotte?
How is it only 6-3?
And actually it could have been, should be, 10-6 Seahawks. But Marshawn Lynch allowed what would have been a touchdown pass on a slant route to go through his hands at eye level and into the arms of Panthers' cornerback Josh Norman, who was in the end zone behind Lynch. That was on third and goal from the 7 in the final 30 seconds of the first half. Russell Wilson's third interception in 191 pass attempts this season keeps Seattle down 6-3 at Carolina on a day the Panthers have pushed around the Seahawks' defense.
The total yards were 143-30 in Carolina's favor before Seattle got its first sustained drive of the game, moving 72 yards behind Lynch's running and Wilson throwing to Doug Baldwin while going in hurry-up mode to end the half. The Seahawks' lone score is Steven Hauschka's 58-yard field goal that tied a Seahawks record set in 2003 at Green Bay by Josh Brown. Hauschka's booming kick would have been good from at least 65 yards. It came after rookie Paul Richardson, doing the kickoff returns with Bryan Walters out with a concussion, ran one back 47 yards following Carolina's second field goal.
The Panthers missed a chance to take a 10-0 lead in the second quarter when on second and goal Cam Newton's pass went through the hands of rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who was open in the back of the end zone. They missed a chance to score more points when Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril forced Newton to fumble at the Seattle 17 and then recovered Seattle's first turnover.
The Seahawks could have recovered four more turnovers in the half, but Tharold Simon dropped an interception, DeShawn Shead couldn't find the ball in a pile on a muffed punt in the first quarter by Carolina, and Richard Sherman didn't see a Panthers receiver fumble along the sideline at the end of a catch in the second quarter. The defense had trouble getting off the field, with Carolina owning 19 of the game's first 25 minutes of possession time.
Wilson has completed 11 of 16 passes for 88 yards. Lynch has 17 yards on five carries. He only had two carries in Seattle's first 10 plays.
Newton is 8 for 10 passing for 90 yards.
Malcolm Smith returned to the defense for the first drive of the second half after injuring his leg in the first half. Left guard James Carpenter has been out since the second quarter with an apparent leg injury.
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