Seahawks vs. Panthers: Carolina Doesn't Have to Win to Set Tone For 2013

By Andrew Fisher
Cam Newton, Steve Smith
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers drew one of the tougher week one matchups in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks will come town to take on the Panthers in game that kicks off at 1:00 PM EST. Even though this will present a tough challenge to the Panthers, it will also present them with opportunity to make a huge statement right out of the gate.

The Panthers are coming into the 2013 season with fairly high expectations. They’ve basically been a .500 club for the past two years under Ron Rivera and frankly, that’s not going to cut if for Carolina fans heading forward. This is a team that’s now expected to make the playoffs and anything short of that, will likely spell the end of Rivera’s tenure with the team.

On the flip side, the Seahawks are a popular Super Bowl pick this season. If they’re the team everyone thinks they can be, it would be extremely disappointing to begin 2013 with a loss. The oddsmakers view Seattle as a (-4) favorite in Sunday’s season opener and there’s no question they’ve got the talent on both sides of the ball to cover the spread and then some.

Although it’s just week one, I believe this game will show us a lot about both teams. The Seahawks have very tough road test that could throw them off their Super Bowl path, while the Panthers could put the rest of the NFC on notice that they’re not a team to be taken lightly. I’m going with Seattle, but I think the game will be close. Even if the Panthers do end up with a loss, if they come out and stand toe-to-toe with the top-tier Seahawks, it will still do wonders for their confidence moving forward.


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