CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Russell Wilson walked into the huddle with his team down a field goal and less than five minutes remaining. He started laughing, sensing the familiarity of the situation.
Then he looked around at his teammates and said, "We've been here two years in row - let's go do it."
Carolina's defense came into the game having allowed at least 37 points in four of its last five games. But it held Wilson and the Seahawks to a pair of field goals before he took the field with 4:47 left on the clock.
"We believed we were going to go down the field and make the plays and win the game," Wilson said. "There was no doubt."
Wilson finished 20 of 32 for 199 yards and had one interception.
"If you think there are distractions, you are wrong," Carroll said.
Newton was 12 of 27 for 121 yards with an interception and a fumble for the Panthers (3-4-1). In three games against the Seahawks, Newton has only thrown for 437 yards and one touchdown while being sacked eight times. It ended when Newton bounced a pass in front of running back Jonathan Stewart on fourth-and-25.
"Sometimes with a team like this you get pressure," Newton said. "Being pressured you have to be willing to take chances. When you make plays you know you're labeled a genius. When you don't (make plays) - and a lot of times we didn't today - it looks bad. It looks real bad."
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.
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.
"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."
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 Cooper Helfet wide open down along the left sideline for a potential touchdown but underthrew him. 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 Stephen Hauschka drilled a low-lining 58-yard field goal which would have been good from at least another 10 yards.
NOTES: Rivera said Benjamin was benched to start the game because he was "sending him a message" to the rookie. Rivera said "he's accountable just like everybody else," but wouldn't elaborate on why he sat down the rookie who finished with four catches for 94 yards. ... Panthers safety Thomas DeCoud left in the second half with a hamstring injury. His backup Tre Boston gave up Wilson's winning touchdown pass.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press