The Seattle Seahawks know what they’re getting when they face Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. And they know how to contain him.
“We know he’s a running quarterback,” said Seattle safety Earl Thomas after the Seahawks shut down Newton and the Panthers 13-9 Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. “You understand what you’re going against. They have a gadget offense; there’s a lot of window dressing, play-action passes. You’ve got to be on your toes against him.”
After failing to throw for more than 150 yards in two previous games, Newton had the best statistical day he’s had against the Seahawks, completing 12 of 22 passes for 171 yards and running for 24. But the result was the same: another low-scoring loss against last season’s Super Bowl champs.
“We just executed our game plan,” said Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. “The (defensive) line hit him when they could, put pressure on him when they could. He did a good job of avoiding us at times because he’s a good quarterback. But we continued to put pressure on him and make plays when they were there.”
Except for a 51-yard pass to rookie Kelvin Benjamin in the fourth quarter, Newton didn’t hurt the Seahawks with his arm. His longest run was 8 yards.
“We did a great job scheme-wise to make sure it didn’t come easy for them,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “Sometimes their plays are so easy because there is so much space around the quarterback when he’s making his reads. But our guys stayed with it. We kept him under wraps because they couldn’t do (much) consistently.”
“But we didn’t keep (Newton) under wraps,” he said with a laugh. “He was all over the place.”
Carroll said the Seahawks could have put the game away had they been able to bring down Newton in the end zone for a safety on the first play of the Panthers’ last possession.
“He’s a monster of athlete to get out of there,” said Carroll. “I was very, very impressed with his play.”