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Pete Carroll: Panthers are toughest offense we face

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When the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks square off in Charlotte on Sunday, the matchup will pit the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense versus the No. 1 scoring defense.

The Carolina Panthers led the NFL in scoring with 500 point this season. Led by Cam Newton's MVP season, Carolina finished second in rushing offense with 142.6 yards per game and 24th in passing yards per game with 224.3.

In the first meeting with the Seahawks, the Panthers scored 27 points, gained 383 yards and gobbled up 135 rush yards.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called it the most dangerous offense they faced in 2015. Let's remember, the Seahawks went up against the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, among others, this season.

"There's nobody that does more stuff (with the running game), and it's basically because the quarterback is such a dynamic part of it," Carroll said, via the Charlotte Observer. "They're willing to run the quarterback inside, outside, lead plays, powers, all of the read stuff, as well. This is the most difficult offense that we face, and it's really because Cam is such an adept player.

"A lot of teams have some plays that they use (like Carolina), but nobody relies on the quarterback to run like they do. He's got 10 touchdowns rushing this year and those aren't quarterback sneaks at the goal line. They're from all over the place. It's the most challenging."

Panthers' offensive coordinator Mike Shula should be credited with designing the most diverse run game in the NFL. Newton's colossal frame allows him to take a pounding with more resilience than any other quarterback in the NFL, which allows Shula to be creative -- especially with inside runs that most teams shun for fear of injuring their signal-caller.

"It's the most diverse," Richard Sherman said of the Panthers' run game. "A lot of teams run similar things, but nobody runs the same stuff they run, outside of college teams."

With Jonathan Stewart expected back this week, the Panthers rushing attack will be at full-throttle Sunday. If the Panthers are allowed to consistently move the sticks with the ground game they will pound their way to the NFC Championship game.

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