Carolina Panthers Vs. Seattle Seahawks

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Insert your own picture of Lloyd Christmas.

Although there is little hope for the playoffs, there is still hope.

That's probably not true, but it does guarantee both sides will be fired up for this game.

However, if Russel Wilson's recent play is any indication, the Seahawks are motivated and on track for a win at home tonight.

Carolina very much has the ability to serve as a playoff seeding spoiler here.

As bad as the Seahawks looked last week against the Buccaneers, we've seen enough body of work this season to know what kind of team they really are.

At 4-7, the Panthers now sit in the basement of the NFC South following a dominant 15-1 campaign. Not only is 4-7 a big hole to climb out of, but the Panthers are too banged up on the offensive line to allow a late-season run. Not be outdone, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is 12-2 in his career in home games, playoffs included, played after December 1.

The Panthers will have a hard time against the Seahawks this Sunday night now that they are without their starting left tackle, starting center, backup center, and backup right tackle.

Behind Johnson at left end is Kony Ealy, who may take over in his place should be forced to miss time due to injury. C Tyler Larsen expected to make first start against Seahawks. However, protecting Wilson will be vitally important. The Seahawks are nearly as bad (27th) at running the ball; Thomas Rawls is the starter mostly by default with promising C.J. Prosise (scapula) injured. The Seahawks are also making a change at right tackle with Bradley Sowell stepping in to replace Garry Gilliam. Wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Ted Ginn Jr.as well as tight end Greg Olsen would be the guys benefiting from it. They won't be getting close to that number again this week and without a consistent running game or hitting for big plays, they just won't match up against Seattle here. With the 12s always at full throat and the national spotlight focused on CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks won't have any excuses to not be ready or motivated for this game. Short provides another stern test for Ifedi this week.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Panthers OT Trai Turner.

Bennett's return will be a boost for Seattle's defensive front that's gotten a strong performance from Frank Clark with Bennett out. However, Seattle still needs to get off to a fast start, and that's especially the case on offense.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has made a habit this season of critiquing National Football League officials, dinging them for everything from missing calls to bias against his team to substandard knowledge of replay rules. Wilson had eight carries in each of the past two games, and finished with 80 rushing yards against the Bucs last week. Jimmy Graham caught six of those 17 completed passed for 67 yards.

Take that out and the Seattle defense was stifling when it mattered - Carolina had just 211 yards until just over 10 minutes to go in the game. He has 4.5 sacks in the past three games in Seattle. The Seahawks have also failed to cover in four games against Carolina.

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