Panthers Hold On For 31-24 Win Over Seahawks

The first play from scrimmage in the NFC Divisional Round game between the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks was a 59-yard Jonathan Stewart run. That set the tone for a dominating first half by the Panthers, as they took a 31-0 lead. It seemed like the Panthers would cruise to an easy win, but that wasn't the case.

The Seahawks rallied in the second half, cutting the lead to 31-21 with just over six minutes to play. However, the second half rally came up short and the Panthers held on for a 31-24 win. 

Carolina ran the ball all over Seattle in the first half, racking up 118 yards and two scores on 23 carries. The team slowed down in the second half and finished with 41 carries for 144 yards and two TDs. Stewart led the way with 19 carries for 106 yards and two scores. 

Cam Newton was sharp through the air early, completing 8 of 11 passes for 102 yards and a score in the first half. He wasn't as sharp in the second half, finishing with 16 of 22 passing for 161 yards and a score. 

The Seahawks had nothing going on the ground, racking up a mere 30 yards on eight carries in the first half. They found better success in the second half, finishing the game with 78 yards on 12 carries. 

QB Russell Wilson wasn't good in the first half, completing 10 of 17 passes for 111 yards and two picks. But the second half was a completely different story and he finished the game by completing 31 of 48 passes for 366 yards, 3 TDs and the two picks. 

The Panthers marched down the field on their first drive, going 75 yards in four plays. All of those plays were on the ground. Seattle's first drive ended in a pick-six by Luke Kuechly. The next time the Panthers got the ball, they scored on a 15-play drive that took nearly nine minutes off the clock. Another Wilson interception set up a field goal for Carolina that gave the Panthers a 24-0 lead. The Panthers added a touchdown pass to give themselves a 31-0 lead. Seattle was in field goal range with just over two minutes to play, but failed to pick up a fourth down conversion. The Seahawks missed a 55-yard field goal to end the half. 

Seattle struck quickly in the third quarter, scoring in four plays on a drive that was set up by a good return and a penalty. The Seahawks scored again with just under eight minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, but were held out of the end zone until they scored again with just over six minutes left. The Seahawks settled for a field goal with under 1:30 to play, but were unable to recover the onside kick. 

With the win, the Panthers advance to face the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. The Panthers are the home team. 

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Related Topics: Panthers News, 2015 NFL Playoffs, Cam Newton, Seahawks News, Russell Wilson