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Wilson leads Seahawks over Panthers again, 13-9


Russell Wilson still has Carolina’s number.

Wilson connected on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson with 47 seconds left, lifting the Seattle to a 13-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and helping the Seahawks snap a two-game losing streak.

It’s the third straight year Wilson has brought the Seahawks (4-3) back from a second-half deficit to beat the Panthers here. In the previous two seasons, Wilson threw second-half TD passes to Jermaine Kearse and Golden Tate in tight defensive games.

Carolina’s defense, which had allowed at least 37 points in four of its previous five games, held the defending Super Bowl champions in check before Wilson led a nine-play, 80-yard drive for the only touchdown.

Wilson finished 20 of 32 for 199 yards with one interception and the one touchdown to Willson on a seam route.

Cam Newton was 12 of 27 for 121 yards with an interception and a fumble for the Panthers (3-4-1).

Carolina had a chance after the touchdown, but Seattle’s pass rush turned up the heat and the Panthers couldn’t manage a first down.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 62 yards and Doug Baldwin had six catches for 61 yards for the Seahawks.

It was a game of missed opportunities for both teams.

The Panthers led 6-3 at halftime despite reaching inside the Seattle 20 on their first three drives.

A dropped pass in the end zone by rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and a turnover off a fumbled exchange between Newton and Jonathan Stewart on a read option play were costly. The Panthers settled for Graham Gano’s two field goals.

“It’s tough when you don’t score touchdowns and miss opportunities,” coach Ron Rivera said. “You have to make hay down in the red zone.”

The Seahawks had their share of botched openings, too.

With a chance to take the lead just before halftime, Lynch let Wilson’s pass slip through his hands at the goal line and cornerback Josh Norman came up with the interception. In the third quarter, Wilson got the Panthers to bite on a fake handoff and had tight end Cooper Helfet wide open down the left sideline but underthrew him. The Seahawks settled for a 29-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka to tie the game at 6.

The Seahawks also turned over the ball when center Stephen Schilling botched a snap to Wilson that Mario Addison recovered at the Carolina 30.

Seattle’s only points in the first half came when Hauschka drilled a low-lining 58-yard field goal which would have been good from at least another 10 yards.

Benjamin was benched to start the game because Rivera said he was “sending him a message. He’s accountable just like everybody else.” Rivera wouldn’t elaborate on why he benched the rookie. Benjamin had four catches for 94 yards

Panthers safety Thomas DeCoud left in the second half with a hamstring injury.

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