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Ryan Kalil needs a win after promising Super Bowl

The rosy full-page ad taken out by Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil this summer guaranteed a Super Bowl appearance for his young team.

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That's not looking so hot after a 1-3 start, but Kalil hasn't hinted at any regret over his bold gamble. He sees Sunday's home meeting with the Seattle Seahawks as a critical chance for the Panthers to get back on track.

"This is a big game for us," Kalil told the team's official site. "This is a good football team we're playing. Very active, very high-tempo defense. So there's a good challenge for us to really get back to work and show what we're all about."

Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks returned to earth in a Week 4 loss to the St. Louis Rams, but Carolina's defense hasn't made life tough on opposing quarterbacks this season. The Panthers are scoring 20 points per game and allowing a robust 27.2. That -7.2 differential is 27th in the NFL and the symptom of a defense that continues to bleed yardage and points. It's hard to believe this is Ron Rivera's team.

The matchup we're excited for involves Kalil and his quarterback Cam Newton, who will be tested against Seattle's athletic, raucous-loving defensive line. Newton also hasn't faced a secondary of this quality in 2012, and he'll be challenged downfield. This is a huge game for Newton, whose last home showing against the New York Giants served as a perception-shifting trap door for the second-year wonder.

Kalil's Charlotte Observer rant rings hollow today, but he's correct: A win against the Seahawks is important -- because a loss essentially removes this Panthers team from relevancy in the NFC South.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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