For such an important game, it was fitting Sunday turned into a heavyweight fight.
When the Panthers punched, the Seahawks countered. When the Seahawks punched, the Panthers ... well, you get the point.
Unfortunately for Carolina, Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter glanced wide right, setting up Seattle with fantastic field position to hit a game-winning 31-yard field goal as the clock expired.
The loss extended the Panthers' losing streak to three straight and was their first at home this season. Now they have to go on the road to salvage a season slipping from their grasp. They may still be favored at both Tampa Bay and Cleveland, but maybe not considering the Panthers' current funk and their 1-4 record away from home this season.
A Record Day Wasted
Christian McCaffrey became the first Panther ever to rack up 100 rushing AND receiving yards. Combine his 125 on the ground with his 114 in the air and you get a franchise-record 239 from scrimmage. His biggest play was a 59-yard sprint up the middle.
Not bad for a guy who can't run between the tackles. Or play nearly every snap.
He Keeps Going and Going and ...
Curtis Samuel had a quiet start, going a quarter and a half without a touch. Wouldn't you know he provided a spark when he finally did get the ball.
Samuel's first touch was a 25-yard gain on a double reverse. Two plays later he beat Shaquill Griffin for a 7-yard score. That gave Samuel this ridiculous ratio: six touchdowns on 23 touches.
The Panthers' three-point advantage at halftime should've been larger.
Cam Newton went 14-for-14 in the first two quarters, the best start ever for a Panthers' quarterback. But that lead was only a field goal because the Panthers scored just one touchdown on four trips inside the red zone. Those struggles were new for a team that came in ranked third in red zone efficiency.
Shoot, the lead nearly wasn't even a field goal. Fortunately for the Panthers, Michael Palardy dug out a snap that came with only one second left on the clock and Graham Gano knocked through a 25-yarder.
Cornerback Donte Jackson has been dinged up a couple of times this season, but he's shown a propensity to bounce back. Not Sunday, though.
The second-round pick appeared to take a helmet to his quad while helping out on the game's opening tackle. Jackson exited immediately and did not return. He was replaced by a combination of Captain Munnerlyn and Corn Elder. Both were targeted by Russell Wilson for big plays in the fourth quarter.
Damiere Bryd also left in the first quarter. The oft-injured wideout hurt his arm, likely on the second of his two punt returns.
Safeties Mike Adams and Eric Reid also received treatment on the sideline, but each returned.