The Seahawks still hope to catch the 49ers in the NFC West. Can they beat the reeling Panthers on the road. What’s the right NFL pick for this game?
Seattle Seahawks (10-3) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Sunday, December 15 at 1:00 PM ET (FOX), Bank of America Stadium
Seahawks Fall in Los Angeles
Last Sunday’s 28-12 road setback against the Rams ended a five-game winning streak for the Seahawks. The loss didn’t hurt their chances to secure a playoff spot but now they have to beat the Panthers and Cardinals to set up a Week 17 home game against the 49ers that could be for the division crown.
Russell Wilson struggled against the Rams, completing just 22 of 36 passes for 245 yards and zero touchdowns with one interception. He got no protection in the pocket and his five sacks cost the Seahawks 43 yards. This can’t happen again, particularly with so much at stake against the Panthers, who rank second in the league with 47 sacks, just 13 shy of the franchise record.
The Seahawks will have to go on without running back Rashaad Penny, who will miss the rest of the season after injuring his ACL early in the first quarter on a tackle against the Rams. C.J. Prosise took over as Chris Carson’s backup running back but he had just one carry. Carson ran for 76 yards on 15 carries against the Rams but the Seahawks need more from Prosise moving forward. Carson (1,057 rushings yards and five touchdowns on 246 carries) and Prosise (43 rushing yards and one touchdown on 14 carries) have to get going against a Panthers team that ranks 29th in the NFL, allowing 139.2 rushing yards per game.
Panthers Lose Fifth Straight
The Panthers are coming off a 40-20 road loss against the Falcons last Sunday and at 5-8, it’s clear that they can’t wait for the season to end so they can start fixing their issues. The quarterback position is one of them, with Kyle Allen once again failing to make his case to be the starter next season. Allen completed 28 of 41 passes for 293 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. The offensive line was nowhere to be found and Allen got sacked five times to lose 48 yards.
Christian McCaffrey (1,220 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 246 carries) was one of the few bright spots, he ran for 53 yards on 11 carries and also caught 11 passes for 82 yards. McCaffrey is still giving 100 percent and the Panthers need him to do so if they want to at least be competitive on Sunday. The talented running back has a lot to play for, he is after the rushing title and he leads the NFL with 1,946 scrimmage yards and 16 total touchdowns and his 86 receptions are the most by a running back.
DJ Moore (1,061 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 78 catches) can be the X-factor in this game. Moore caught four passes for 81 yards against the Falcons but he has 497 receiving yards and three touchdowns over his last five games and the Seahawks rank 29th in the league, allowing 271.2 receiving yards per game.
Betting Trends & Prediction
The Under is:
Under is 8-1 in Seattle’s last nine games as a road favorite
Under is 6-1 in Seattle’s last seven road games against a team with a losing home record
Under is 9-3 in Carolina’s last 12 games in Week 15
Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Carolina
McCaffrey and Moore can be productive but Kyle Allen won’t make the Panthers score enough points to get this game Over the total and the Seahawks will run the ball frequently, which will slow the pace down.
Free NFL Pick: Under 49 (-110)
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