It was the Carolina Panthers and not the New England Patriots or Cincinnati Bengals that was the opponent Sunday but the result, unfortunately, was the same for the Seahawks, a club which suddenly can't protect a fourth quarter lead.
Just as it had against the Patriots and Bengals, Seattle held a double-digit lead in the final stanze but an inability to sustain drives on offense and suddenly porous defense let the Seahawks down again.
Sunday's loss was particularly frustrating and not just because it occurred inside CenturyLink and sunk Seattle to a tie with the San Francisco 49ers for last in the NFC West. The Seahawks entered the game knowing that Carolina's chief receiving threat was Greg Olsen and yet the team was inexplicably powerless to stop him, surrendering the fifth touchdown to a tight end so far this season - the game-winner with just 32 seconds remaining. Olsen caught seven passes for 131 yards, overall with the easiest of the day being the final one as Seattle's secondary was clearly confused on the play.
Olsen accounted for nearly half of Cam Newton's 269 passing yards. Carolina was just as successful on the ground as in the air, rushing for three touchdowns, including two from Jonathan Stewart. Carolina outgained Seattle in total yardage (383-334) and nearly doubled the Seahawks in first downs, registering 25 to only 14 for Russell Wilson and Co.
On a positive note, Jimmy Graham enjoyed his best day as a Seahawk, hauling in a game-high eight passes for 140 yards in the loss. Ricardo Lockette had the highlight of the day for the Seahawks, making a spectacular touchdown catch following a double-pass involving Marshawn Lynch to give Seattle a 17-7 lead in the third quarter.
From that point on, however, the Panthers outscored the Seahawks 20-6.
The Seahawks have little time to lick their wounds as they travel to San Francisco Thursday to face the 49ers, who showed resiliency Sunday in ending a four-game losing streak to beat the Baltimore Ravens.