SEATTLE -- Here is a quick take on 5 of the biggest reasons Carolina lost 31-17 to Seattle Saturday night:
1) Turnovers. Seattle had zero. Carolina had three -- all charged to quarterback Cam Newton. Newton's turnovers were the worst part of this, certainly, but the Panthers' defense really needed to come up with at least one big play on this night, and it did not.
2) The young secondary got exposed. Tre Boston allowed a 16-yard TD pass. Bene Benwikere allowed a 63-yarder. On both plays, the rookies simply lost sight of the ball and were taken advantage of by Seattle's Russell Wilson, who was the best player in this game.
3) Luke Willson. Seattle's young tight end is overshadowed by the quarterback who shares his surname (except for that extra 'L'), but the Panthers couldn't cover him all day. He was targeted four times, caught all four and gained 68 yards with one TD. His numbers were better than Carolina Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen (4-58, no TDs). Willson must love the Panthers -- he scored the game's only TD in October in the final minute to beat Carolina, 13-9.
4) Kam Chancellor. Seattle's star safety was all over the field. He nearly blocked a Carolina kick -- twice! -- by jumping entirely over the Panthers' line. And although that ploy didn't work, he later baited Newton and got a 90-yard pick six for his trouble that clinched the game.
5) Talent differential. Look, Carolina doesn't have as many good players as Seattle does. That's just a fact. When you are asking Philly Brown to make a play on a deep ball against Richard Sherman, or you are asking Colin Jones to figure out how to not allow Wilson to complete a pass -- that's just a mismatch. There were too many of them on the field, and eventually Seattle was bound to exploit a number of them.