Seahawks renew rivalry with Cam Newton as he returns with Patriots


Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers

RENTON -- The Seattle Seahawks have faced off with Cam Newton as frequently as any other out-of-division opponent over the last decade.

The former quarterback of the Carolina Panthers has started games against the Seahawks on eight different occasions split between the regular season and playoffs. Seattle is 6-2 over those eight games with each team having a victory in the postseason.

But they've never had to face Cam Newton on a team coached by Bill Belichick. That could present a new set of challenges for the Seahawks to handle Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.

"We do have a real good background with Cam. We don't know what they're going to do with him. It's only one game. We don't even have the benefit of the preseason games to kind of try to figure it out," head coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday.

"They have been notorious for changing from one week to the next in how they approach their opponents. We have to go into this game with a wide open look. Almost like a first game. We have some information. They showed they really want to run the football, ran it 42 times in the game, which is a great commitment. But we don't know. We'll see."

Newton hasn't been particularly successful against the Seahawks throughout his career. He's completed just 60 percent of his passes in the eight combined games against Seattle with just eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He's also been sacked 14 times, averaged less than 200 passing yards a game and posted just a 80.9 career passer rating against the Seahawks during his time in Carolina.

"We've seen Cam run every play that you could run over all these years," Carroll said. "There's a wide variety of things that he does and can do. But they did show a willingness to run him downhill, wildcat situations, which is a great way to use your running quarterback.

"They got a lot of stuff. I know that they haven't shown, couldn't show it all in one game. We have to be ready for a very wide spectrum of offensive style. It's a difficult preparation in that regard. At least we know what he looks like, and we know what he is as a runner because of the years past."

In his first game as the starter for the Patriots, Newton had 15 rushes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. New England as a team had 42 rushing attempts in 63 offensive plays as they tailored their attack to Newton's strengths as a quarterback in their 21-11 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

As Carroll noted, the Patriots don't really have a dedicated offensive game plan. They can vary their attack wildly from week to week if they feel like it can give them an edge over an opponent. The 42 rushing attempts this week could become 42 passing attempts on Sunday night if Belichick feels that's the best way to attack Seattle's defense.

And with only one game of history of what Newton looks like in a Patriots uniform, the Seahawks are going to have to adapt on the fly and be ready for a wide array of possibilities.

"We definitely have to approach it with fresh eyes," linebacker Bobby Wagner said of facing Newton.

"We've got to be prepared for everything and we just have to make sure we make them one-dimensional and don't let them come out and run and pass on us."

Seahawks take practice inside:

With smoke from wildfires continue to layer across the entirety of the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks took their Wednesday practice indoors.

Even the indoor practice facility at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center had a relative haze amplified by the indoor lighting as they hit the field on Wednesday afternoon.

Defensive end Rasheem Green did not practice due to a neck injury sustained in Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons. Green is continuing to be evaluated throughout the week and Carroll said before practice that they won't know if he'll be able to play until late in the week.

If Green is unable to play, Alton Robinson would likely make his first appearance after being one of the team's inactive selections against the Falcons.

Left tackle Duane Brown got a veteran rest and backup Cedric Ogbuehi remained sidelined with a pectoral injury. He was out for the win in Atlanta as Seattle had to promote Chad Wheeler from the practice squad for depth at tackle.

Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett was back to limited participation in practice as he continues to manage a bothersome foot injury.

Injury Report:

Photo Credit: CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks hits Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


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