Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers: Watch Live TV Stream Online for Free; Preview

By Melissa Siegel, Posted: 10/06/12 09:42PM EDT

The Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers face off on Sunday afternoon in a battle between two NFC squads. The game will be broadcast live on FOX in certain markets at 4:05 p.m. ET, and you can also watch a live TV stream online for free here.

The Seahawks looked like a potential playoff team through their first three games. They easily defeated the Dallas Cowboys and won a miracle finish against the Green Bay Packers. The latter win was a result of a controversial call by the replacement referees, but Seattle still impressed with eight sacks of Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

 But, Seattle came back down to earth a bit last week with a loss to division rival St. Louis. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson particularly struggled, throwing for just 140 yards and three interceptions.

Wilson was expected to back up prized free agent Matt Flynn after being drafted in the third round. Flynn signed a $26 million contract in the offseason despite spending most of the last four seasons on the Packers' bench. But Wilson outperformed Flynn in the preseason and was named the team's starter.

The rookie has struggled so far this season, throwing four interceptions in four games and completing only one pass over 40 yards. Still, coach Pete Carroll insists that Wilson will remain the starter.

The passing game is one of the few weak spots on this Seahawks team. Seattle ranks last in the league in passing yards per game but is in the top 10 in both passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed. The Seahawks also have a top 10 rushing offense led by Marshawn Lynch. Lynch has 423 yards on the ground this season,  199 of which have come after contact, according to ESPN Stats.

Carolina, meanwhile, has lost two straight games to fall to 1-3 on the season. Last week, the Panthers had a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter before quarterback Cam Newton fumbled on what would have been the game-clinching first down. The Panthers recovered the ball but were forced to punt it back to Atlanta. The Falcons then drove 77 yards in 54 seconds to set up the game-winning field goal.

The Panthers allowed nearly 27 points per game last season, and the defense is still having problems keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Carolina has given up 27 points or more in three straight contests and ranks in the bottom third of the league in both passing yards and rushing yards allowed.

On offense, the Panthers are still led by Newton, last year's rookie sensation. But the quarterback has faced questions of his leadership and on-field demeanor over the past few weeks.

Seattle has not faced a running quarterback like Newton yet this season, so it's unclear whether the Seahawks have the tools to stop him. And Carolina's poor defense statistics partly result from facing elite quarterbacks over the last three weeks.

Still, Seattle can run the ball and stop the run, and that plus the power of the 12th man should be enough to give the Seahawks the home victory.

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