There is a lot of hype surrounding the Seattle Seahawks and their young quarterback Russell Wilson. Certainly the Seahawks may be able to score a lot of points with Wilson’s feet and arm, along with the bruising style of Marshawn Lynch.
That said, the Seahawks are still built on defense, and it will be defense that gets them to the Super Bowl. It will be defense that helps the Seahawks get by the likes of the San Francisco 49ers.
First target? Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks obviously need to play a balanced game to win, but the key to victory may be the containment of Newton.
Remember, it was Newton that took the NFL by storm in his rookie season. He threw for over 4,000 yards in his first year. Newton had 21 touchdowns with his arm, and another 14 with his feet.
Then, the dreaded “sophomore slump” hit, sort of. There were questions about whether Newton was really the budding superstar that everyone thought he could be. However, when you look at the numbers, he still has a very good season in his second year. Newton threw for almost 3,900 yards and 19 touchdowns; his quarterback rating and yards per throw were actually higher.
So, who is priority number one for the Seahawks? Newton. The Panthers do not have a premier running back, but DeAngelo Williams and Newton led Carolina to the ninth best rushing attack in the NFL last season.
This will be the first big test for the revamped Seattle defensive line. If Newton is given time to throw, or he is allowed to escape the pocket and take off running, the Seahawks may have some issues. As good as the Seattle secondary is, you don’t want your cornerbacks taking down a 6-foot-5, 245 pound quarterback.
Contain, contain and throw in some pressure, that will be the strategy against Cam Newton. That is the strategy that will lead to a win.