Hello all, this is going to be a new series I will do for each and every game! I will post the video at the top and then below it will be the "script" if you will, of my preview! Keep Pounding!
This is Connor Harrison with your "Week 1: Weekly Preview Report". It's Kickoff weekend around the NFL and this year the Carolina Panthers will start their season off at home against a team that many so called "experts" think will dominate, that team is the Seattle Seahawks. They happen to be a team I know very well.
Currently living in Washington state I've come to learn a lot about the Seahawks. Whether it's how great their
12th man is, what kind of Skittle is "Beast Mode's" favorite, or how Golden Tate is Smitty 2.0, I'm here to tell you
that it's been a rough time being a lone Panther fan here in the northwest.
With all hatred and fan hood aside I can tell you that the Seahawks are a good team, in fact, they're a great
team. However, I can tell you that the football Gods did us a favor by scheduling a game at 10 AM Seattle time, and on the road in Carolina. Seattle is a whole new team when it's early in the AM and have to play outside of their 12th man.
Last year Seattle played 4 road games at 10 a.m. PST, and lost all but one -- which was an OT nail-biter in Chicago. Losses came against Detroit, Miami and St. Louis, all of which finished in the lower half of the standings.
So what about last years close victory in Carolina? Ironically enough that game was scheduled at 1:05 p.m. PST, which could have given Seattle a bit of an edge than their usual east coast slate, but let's keep in mind that there were two potential plays that could have changed the outcome of that game, causing yet another road loss for Seattle.
Whenever I bring that game up to Seattle fans here, they mention that it was early in the season and Wilson was still getting used to the NFL, otherwise they would have "kicked the living snot out of us". Do you think they realize that the Panthers have only improved after that point of the season as well? We did finish on a 4 game winning streak after another frustrating 2-8 start.
Both teams have improved drastically. However, the Seahawks still have that awful hangover every time they play a morning game on the road. Plain and simple, Seattle on the road is half of what Seattle is at home.
So with all these myths aside about football gods, let's get to the basics. Here are my three keys to victory for the Carolina Panthers:
Put pressure on the Hawks.
Russell struggled against a mediocre Green Bay defensive front in his Week 3 preseason dress rehearsal. Wilson was sacked 4 times while throwing 2 interceptions. He showed that he can crumble if an offensive line is non existent. If Monsters Inc. and this new Carolina defense can give half of the effort they did in Baltimore, we will have a good day. Besides, ever heard of a Sophomore Slump?
Win the special teams battle.
Both teams have excellent Defenses and it SHOULD be a very low scoring game like last year. The difference in this one will be Ted Ginn Jr. A few seasons ago in the NFL opener against Seattle, Ginn took a KR back to the house and then followed up with a PR touchdown to seal a win for the Niners. I know, it's kind of hard to feel confident about the words "Special Teams" and "Carolina" put together. Lately they have never really existed. But, then we signed Ginn. (Gano and Nortman deserve some love too).
Get our offense rolling
Seattle has THE greatest Secondary in the NFL. But outside of that they really are a vastly overrated Defense. Bobby Wagner was behind Kuechly last year in tackles, and like Luke, was a rookie. But the other two linebackers? Not even a bother. As for their front four, they are beat up. Clemons is the only real threat, however he has been injured after his ACL tear in the playoffs. This will hopefully be good for our woeful offensive line. In fact it may even be a confidence booster for them after this one, regardless of the outcome. As for Cam and the backs/receivers...they just need to find their groove, because we all know that once they get hot, things go well. Let's hope Cam doesn't have accuracy problems this Sunday.
Key Match-up for Week 1: Greg Olsen VS The Seattle Linebackers.
Here in Carolina we know how capable Olsen is of torching a defense. Seattle will focus their secondary on 89, 11, 19 and who knows, maybe even 14. This leaves plenty of 1 on 1 match-ups between Olsen and their linebackers.
In Seattle's dress rehearsal, Green Bay ran a seam route through the linebackers multiple times...all of which turned out succesful. This is Olsen's route. Olsen seems to be one of Cam's favorite targets outside of Smitty, and
Olsen's speed and catching ability should be able to shake off the Seattle defense and hopefully have a field day.
In last years game, Olsen was only targeted 3 times, which had only 2 catches for around 40 yards. I sure hope
Shula thinks this one over, and realizes that Olsen can be the game changer here.
Call me a homer but I believe Carolina will come out victorious in this one, with a 21-17 victory over Seattle.
With Irvin suspended, Clemons and company hurt, a morning road game for Seattle, and the fact that they
open up on the national stage at home versus their rival the following week, I feel Seattle won't leave Carolina
feeling as confident as they did when they had arrived. Don't overlook us, Seattle.