A few notes in advance of 1-10 Carolina's game against 5-6 Seattle Sunday:
-- It’s going to be weird Sunday not turning on the TV until 4:15 p.m. for a Carolina game. The Panthers are so thoroughly a “Sunday at 1 p.m.” team – the place TV networks love to stash bad teams that don’t draw a big national audience – that this will be their first non-1 p.m. game of the season and comes only because the game is on the West Coast.
-- Five years ago, these two teams met in Seattle in the NFC championship game, with the Seahawks winning easily and advancing to a Super Bowl they would ultimately lose to Pittsburgh. The two teams haven’t played in Seattle since, but they sure have gotten worse.
-- Seattle got creamed in rushing yardage last week, 270-20, in its 42-24 loss to Kansas City. The Panthers’ chance Sunday hinges on the team gaining more rushing yardage than its season high of 151, set last week in Cleveland.
-- Seattle coach Pete Carroll once tried hard to recruit Jimmy Clausen to Southern Cal. Clausen, who grew up in California, chose Notre Dame instead but then never beat the Trojans in his college career. He’d love to get his first NFL win over Carroll Sunday, although the very loud crowd in Seattle won’t be easy on a rookie quarterback.
-- The Panthers actually have a shot in this one, mostly based on their running game. But I’m 8-3 picking Panther outcomes this season, and that’s because I almost always pick them to lose. I’m not going to mess with that formula now. Prediction: Seattle 24, Carolina 16.
-- Note to "Scott Says" readers: This post represents the 1,000th blog post I have filed since the "Scott Says" blog went live in 2008. In honor of that anniversary, I will have a random giveaway of "Tales from the Carolina Panthers Sideline" -- the book I wrote on the Panthers back when they were actually a very good team.
You can only enter by e-mailing your name and address to ScottFowlerBooks@aol.com by 6 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, Dec.3rd (I'm using that e-mail address for this instead of my Observer one due to e-mail space considerations). Please put "Panthers book" in the subject line (although it does not disqualify you if you forget to do that -- it just helps me with my bookkeeping).
Five readers will win a signed copy of the book, and those five will all be notified via e-mail by 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec.4th.
Good luck -- and thanks so much for reading "Scott Says."