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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NFL Week 1 Odds Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

It's Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season and we will see the Seattle Seahawks travel to Bank Of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers. The start time is 1:00 pm (Eastern) and the game will be televised on FOX. Current Odds have Seattle listed as 3.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 45.

Analysis: The Seattle Seahawks are a trendy pick to represent the NFC in this year's Super Bowl. Last year they came close to advancing to the conference championship game, losing in the waning seconds at Atlanta in the divisional round. The Seahawks went 11-5 a year ago, the best mark since going 10-6 in 2007, and should battle all year long with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. Russell Wilson was a key for the Seahawks last year and a big reason they have high hopes for 2013. Wilson started all 16 games last season, going 8-0 at home, and passed for 3,118 yards with 26 touchdown passes. Wilson isn't the only start on this offense as Marshawn Lynch is backafter rushing for 1,590 yards last year. Lynch had 100 or more yards rushing in eight of the final 10 games in 2012 and leads the NFL with 2,531 rushing yards since Nov. of 2011. The defense of Seattle is one of the best in the league, but will be without pass rushers Chris Clemons (knee), Cliff Avril (hamstring) and Bruce Irvin (four-game suspension for using a banned substance) for this one.

Carolina has missed the playoffs each of the past four years and is counting on big things in 2013. Quarterback Cam Newton set the bar high this offseason by saying: "The time is now." The Panthers enter the new season with with some momentum, after finishing strong, going 6-3 the down the stretch with four straight victories to close the season. Newton has compiled 7,920 passing yards the last 2 years, plus he is the the only quarterback with 500-plus rushing yards in each of his first two seasons in the league. The Panthers, though, will counter Lynch and the Seattle offense with second- year stud linebacker Luke Kuechly, who was the NFL's top tackler his rookie season with 164 stops. Kuechly helped turn around Carolina's defense by season's end and earned the praise of his teammates. Left defensive end Charles Johnson recorded a team-leading and a career-high 12 1/2 sacks last season and is Carolina's top pass rusher.

Pick: I will go with the Panthers to take this one. Seattle is a very good team, but I just don't see Wilson having the same success as last year, as teams now have some film on him. Also hurting the Seahawks in this one will be suspensions and injuries on the defensive side of the ball. That is not god when you're about to face Cam Newton and company, who feel they have something to prove this year. The Panther defense looked very good down the stretch and could be an even better group this year. Seattle will be in the thick of the NFC West all year, but I feel they will not start off on the right foot. The are missing some key pieces and am not expecting Wilson to have a good start to the year.

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