CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson pieced together enough on Seattle's drives into Carolina Panthers territory to make it a happy homecoming. The Seahawks won 16-12 Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, where the Panthers couldn't overcome quarterback Cam Newton's struggles. It took one touchdown for the Seahawks (3-2) to win for the first time in three road outings. Wilson, playing in the state where he began his college career with North Carolina State, threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate, who pinballed off Carolina defenders for the final 4 yards to reach the end zone with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. Seattle had gone 100 minutes between touchdowns since the first quarter against St. Louis in its previous game. It was only the Seahawks' second touchdown since their controversial end-of-game score against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 24. Steven Hauschka made three field goals for the Seahawks, the final one pushing their lead to 16-10 with 10:27 remaining. The Panthers (1-4) had 105 yards of offense through three quarters, with Newton hitting on only five of his first 20 passes. He completed his first seven throws of the fourth quarter until throwing incomplete on fourth-and-goal from the Seattle 1 with 3:47 remaining. Despite the Seahawks picking up a first down, they took a safety rather than punting from near their end zone. That gave the Panthers one more possession, beginning at their own 31-yard line with 54 seconds left and no timeouts remaining. Seattle defensive end Bruce Irvin forced Newton to fumble on a sack on the second play, and the Seahawks recovered to seal the win. Even though Wilson threw the game's only two interceptions, he clearly outperformed Newton. Wilson's first pass of the second half was intercepted by Captain Munnerlyn and returned 33 yards for a touchdown, giving the Panthers their first lead of the game. Munnerlyn was in the starting lineup as part of a revamped secondary because of an injury. The Seahawks then turned the ball over again when Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted a pass batted in the air by Marshawn Lynch. The Panthers had to punt on the ensuing drive. Seattle got a break late in the third quarter when Newton's pitch to DeAngelo Williams was disrupted by Brandon Browner, who recovered the fumble at the Carolina 27. The Seahawks converted to retake the lead on their first touchdown. The Panthers' lone giveaway came when Seattle's Leon Washington fumbled the second-half kickoff, with Carolina's Jason Phillips causing the turnover. Carolina started with possession at the Seattle 37-yard line, but the drive resulted in negative yardage, with a third-down sack resulting in a punt. Wilson completed 12 of 13 first-half passes. Newton was 3-for-15 in the air, yet Justin Medlock's 32-yard field goal on the second-to-last play of the first half closed the gap to 6-3. Newton's 37 rushing yards led all players at the half. NOTES: Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason was on the inactive list with a knee injury. Kuechly, a first-round draft pick in April out of Boston College, started in his place, with Thomas Davis moving to Kuechly's spot as a weakside linebacker ... Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble (shoulder) and offensive guard Geoff Hangartner (knee) also missed the game. ... Hauschka also played at N.C. State. He opened the scoring Sunday with a 22-yard field goal and added the next points on a 36-yarder. ... Wide receiver Steve Smith extended his Panthers-record streak to 80 consecutive games with at least one catch.
By The Sports Xchange October 7, 2012 7:30 PM