The Carolina Panthers needed the ball to bounce their way if they were going to upset the Seattle Seahawks on the road – and it just so happened their hopes came to fruition.
Panthers wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. submitted his name in the Catch of the Year category when he somehow managed to corral a pass from Sam Darnold in between his legs and around Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen for a first down in the second half. The little bit of luck was evident.
On the next drive, Darnold found wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. off to his right side. He dove forward to make the catch behind the line of scrimmage. He was untouched and managed to salvage a few yards to inch Carolina closer to a touchdown. Raheem Blackshear would run for an 8-yard touchdown on the next play to put Carolina up 27-17 with 6:57 left in the game.
Seattle would punt on the next drive and score on their final drive, making it a one-possession game. The Seahawks failed to recover the onside kick and Carolina closed out the 30-24 victory.
Darnold was 14 of 24 with 120 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Shi Smith. Shenault led the Panthers with four catches for 31 yards. Chuba Hubbard led the team with 14 carries for 74 yards, and he had three catches for 25 yards.
Carolina’s defense sacked Geno Smith three times and picked him off twice. Jaycee Horn and C.J. Henderson had an interception each.
Smith finished 21 of 36 with 264 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Marquise Goodwin had five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. DK Metcalf had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Lockett added five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
But Seattle failed to pick up a critical victory in their fight to win the NFC West. They dropped to 7-6 on the year.
Carolina entered the game only two games behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the lead in the NFC South. Their win and the Bucs’ loss inched them closer to the top.