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Seahawks Takeaways: WRs Lockett, Moore come up big in win vs Panthers

Seahawks WR David Moore finished with 103 yards in Week 12. (AP)

The Seahawks haven’t clinched a trip to the postseason, but their path to the playoffs looks a whole lot smoother following their 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers Sunday.

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The win puts both teams at 6-5, but Seattle now holds a crucial tiebreaker over the Panthers and have beaten fellow NFC Wild Card contenders the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.

Here’s what stood out from Sunday’s win:

That’s Moore like it

The Seahawks finished the day with 75 net rushing yards, marking the first time since Week 3 that Seattle posted less than 150 rushing yards in a game. Lead running back Chris Carson still managed to rush for a touchdown, but Seattle otherwise made some of their biggest gains through the air, where quarterback Russell Wilson hit on 22 of his 31 attempts for 339 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Two of the biggest contributors were wide receivers Tyler Lockett and David Moore. Both players finished with 100-plus yards (107 yards for Lockett and 103 for Moore) and a touchdown.

Lockett is in the midst of his most productive season yet in Seattle, with a touchdown reception in all but three games this year. But for Moore, Sunday’s win brought his first 100-yard game and the longest reception of his career (54 yards).

A few others had strong contributions in the passing game. Wide receiver Malik Turner, who was activated to the 53-man roster Saturday afternoon, made his first career catch, a 19-yarder to convert a second-and-14 play. Meanwhile, fullback Tre Madden had a 28-yard reception to put Seattle at the Panthers’ 1-yard line and ultimately led to Carson’s touchdown.

Panthers’ McCaffrey takes off

While the Seahawks went away from their run-first approach, the Panthers managed to make the most of theirs. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for 125 yards (and had another 112 receiving) while quarterback Cam Newton had 63 rushing yards on eight carries.

McCaffrey picked up nearly 75 of those rushing yards on a single touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

“(Credit there) goes to the coaches and it goes to the players,” Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald said of the drive. “The (Panthers) coaches called a call we hadn’t really worked on that much and we were just trying to surprise him and get some pressure in there. But off of that, when you don’t rep something you get hit. It only takes one person to be off their guy.”

‘We got done what we needed to get done’

The Seahawks’ defense allowed 476 yards from Carolina, their most allowed to any team this season. But when it mattered most – namely in the red zone – Seattle’s defense halted key drives.

“All of the red zone stops were dramatically important as you look back at this one, for sure,” head coach Pete Carroll said in his postgame press conference.

The Panthers made seven trips to the red zone and scored on just three of them (43 percent). Those stops made all the difference in a contest that was tied four times and never featured more than a one-score lead for either team. McDougald also ended one red zone possession with an interception – Seattle’s first interception since their Week 8 win over the Lions.

“The defense had a hard time today,” Carroll said. “McCaffrey was awesome and Cam was awesome. But when we got them in the red zone, we stopped them. We had four big stops. And they were all crucial and (McDougald’s interception) was huge down there. So we got done what we needed to get done to win the football game, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We don’t want to see those kinds of yards and output from the other side.”