With Star Lotulelei out, Panthers’ hopes get even slimmer

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The Panthers were already huge underdogs on Saturday night in Seattle. Their odds have just grown even slimmer.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has confirmed that defensive tackle Star Lotulelei suffered a broken bone in his foot at practice on Tuesday and will not play on Saturday against the Seahawks. That’s a huge loss to Carolina’s defense.

Lotulelei is a big presence in the middle of the line, and his absence will be felt when Marshawn Lynch is running up the middle. And although Lotulelei only recorded two sacks during the regular season, he can be a disruptive interior pass rusher as well. Russell Wilson will be glad Lotulelei isn’t playing.

Rivera says Lotulelei has already had surgery and that there’s still a chance he could heal in time to play in the Super Bowl. But Lotulelei’s absence makes the Panthers’ already slim chances of getting to the Super Bowl even slimmer.

54 responses to “With Star Lotulelei out, Panthers’ hopes get even slimmer

  1. Fret not, Panther fans, as your assimilation into the Realm of the Seahawks is a forgone conclusion. This is your chance to join the realm and bask in the glory that is the Seahawks empire. Resist, and forever be lost in the sorrow of anonymity…which is still better than being a skolophile.

  2. I just do not understand why everyone thinks this is going to be a 50-0 Seattle win. We had half a team when we came within 60 seconds of beating them in October. Now everyone is saying, “Seattle is so much better now! The Panthers have no chance!” What about the fact that we are so much better also? In October, we didn’t have Stewart or Tolbert, Philly Brown was still a punt returner because Jason Avant was still here, Bene Benwikere and Tre Boston hadn’t been put in the secondary (we were still playing Antoine Cason and Charles Godfrey), and we were in the middle of 8 straight games with a different O-line than the previous game.

    Yes, Seattle should be favored, and they’ll probably win, even more likely with Star out. But we’re not going to get beat by 50.

  3. Hawks lost Jordan Hill who had 5.5 sacks in the past 6 games up front and now Star for Carolina.

    Star is a bigger name and well known but Hill was a pocket collapsing 3 tech that was playing well. Probably a wash in DL production.

    Speedy recovery SL.

  4. “Rivera says Lotulelei has already had surgery and that there’s still a chance he could heal in time to play in the Super Bowl.”

    If the room didn’t erupt in laughter after he said this, the professionalism of the journalists is beyond repute.

  5. No one said anything about 50-0. And close games in CHARLOTTE do not equate with playing in Seattle. Carolina wasn’t going to win anyway, but they don’t have what it takes to stop Seattle consistently, and their defense is gonna make Newton pay for those overthrows he constantly makes.

  6. jgedgar,

    Please do your homework. I clearly remember JStew playing vs the Hawks back in October. JStew is lighting it up right now but still had his carries vs Seattle in October.

    Do we believe the rest of your post and the list of guys missing? uh, no.

  7. The lack of humility and arrogance by Shehawk fans is so telling. Most of these “fans” who post on here knew nothing about this franchise prior to 2011. I bet the majority of those fans have no idea who Rick Mirer or Dennis Erickson are or they used to play in the Kingdome. As far as this “12th man” gimmick. Nobody talked about the 12th man prior to your last two seasons of winning. Funny how that works. Nobody talked about it when you were irrelevant for decades. It was also stolen from Texas A&M and College Station. But, I am sure you have some wise comment to reject that notion. Keep up your humility because when your Seahags so called dynasty ends, you will be the ones with egg on your face and nobody will feel sorry for you.. Enjoy it now losers!

  8. I love all the hatred and disrespect the Panthers get. No pressure on them! If they lose, no big deal. They’re just an 8-8-1 team that didn’t belong there anyway.

    But, if they win………..oh how the Seattle fans will disappear.

    All Cam Newton has done in his brief 4 year history is…Rookie of the Year, 2 Pro Bowls, first EVER repeat champion in the NFC South, broke EVERY rookie passing/running record for a QB, broke a record that was said to be unbreakable (most rushing TDs by a QB). I’m sure the Panthers have ZERO chance of winning this game.

    Russell Wilson is good. He is a Super Bowl winning QB. The defense in Seattle is very good. Lynch is still a top 5 (probably) running back in this league. Seattle is a 11 point favorite. All this is true. But Dallas wasn’t going to be good this year either.

    “Seattle can’t be beaten at home.”

    I’m sorry, didn’t Dallas (who wasn’t supposed to be good) win there?

    Keep sleeping on the Panthers.

  9. You people have GOT to stop using this term “hater” whenever someone isn’t going overboard worshiping a player or a team. The Panthers played a bunch of bad teams and now you think they are on the level with Seattle?

  10. Big time Panther fan here. In all seriousness I dont think any of us are going in thinking this is a win. At least I dont kid myself. SL being out isnt helping. But we are a much much better team than the last time we played Seattle. My big hangup is having to play in Seattle. Very tough place to play, but when defense is the key for both teams who knows where it could go.
    I do remember when the Cardiac Cats beat “The Greatest Show on Turf” when we were overwhelmingly picked against. I do say this… dont sleep on us…

  11. “(12th man) was…stolen from Texas A&M and College Station.”

    It’s actually applies & oranges…

    Texas A&M story was a kid from the stands who had been on the team previously suited up and stood on the sidelines ready to play, a symbol of all their fans. A tradition they carry on.

    Seattle fans are so loud, they are like having a 12th man on the field.

    Seahawks pay for the rights to use it as a donation to Texas A&M and also to thank them for managing and litigating to prevent others from using it as well…something they wouldn’t want to bother with if they had taken ownership of it themselves.

  12. nfliferfan22 your funny.. Your right there was zero Seahawks fans prior to 2011. We didn’t exist just an aberration. I do agree that there are a few overly aggressive fans out there. Are there not for all teams, even yours? Lumping all Seahawks fans in this is stupid.

    I do believe based on past history this will be a close game.

    Been a fan since 76 (Season ticket holder 1995-2004)
    Go Seahawks!

  13. Were not a oneman show. Seattle is overrated they have mediocre Wide receivers. Carolina is so underrated but is cool we’ll shock the world Saturday. Seattle is not that good. #KeepPounding #panthernation you gone need 12 man

  14. I remember in 2005 when the panthers shut out the Gmen on the road and came to Seattle and got boat raced. Steve Smith was Steve Jr in that game. Hawks then lost in the SB. It’s not like the Hawks haven’t been a quality squad recently.

  15. Haters feel the need to be heard, so they post. Hawks will Win this one. Kuechley is the threat. Shhh

  16. It should be noted that Lotulelei didn’t have the best season.It was up and down. That said,the Panthers may not miss him as much as everyone thinks.

    The key to the defense is Thomas Davis. To have any chance he must play very well and AJ Klein must not play. 13 points may win this game, but only if the Panthers stop the run.

    Cam Newton will need to be Superman, scoring twice to win.

  17. As a lifelong Hawk fan I cringe at all of the pftpoet and logicalvoicesays like posts from some of our other “fans”. Though I honestly think most of those posters are troll fans of other teams, or 13 and under.

    Hawks happen to be good lately and it’s been nice, but they’re only fractionally better than just about any other team, and a few of them might be better than them. All NFL teams field a roster capable of winning most every game they play, it’s all in execution.

    Carolina is perfectly capable of winning this. We all know it’s not likely, but it can happen. The Hawks have all the pressure on them, I think they’ll handle it, but crazier things happen all the time in the NFL.

  18. So, Can needs to score twice himself but 13 points may win the game? You must be assuming Gano is going to miss an extra point.

  19. The silver lining in this for the Panthers could be that this means Kawan Short will be on the field more often than not. He’s starting from what I’ve heard, and from what I know he is our best pass rushing DT. That is what we really need against Russell Wilson in this game. What we’ve lacked against the Seahawks in all these years of close games is a good pass rush on #3. If we contain him and keep him from stretching the defense that will be the downfall of the Hawks. That’s a big if though. Panthers will have to play lights out defense to win this.

  20. beastmode5150 says:
    Jan 7, 2015 5:21 PM
    Joebaker, when Seattle played you guys earlier this year, these starters were out.

    Wagner
    Maxwell
    Unger
    Lane
    Hill
    Simon

    All but Hill are back.

    What does that have to do with what I posted. We have a much better secondary and the defense is back to where it was last year which aught to make you all think, you played our crappy D and barely squeaked by, and Lynch had less than 70 yards (from memory). Im not sure where youre going other than just posting.

  21. joebaker1987 says:
    Jan 7, 2015 4:45 PM
    Big time Panther fan here. In all seriousness I dont think any of us are going in thinking this is a win. At least I dont kid myself. SL being out isnt helping. But we are a much much better team than the last time we played Seattle. My big hangup is having to play in Seattle. Very tough place to play, but when defense is the key for both teams who knows where it could go.
    I do remember when the Cardiac Cats beat “The Greatest Show on Turf” when we were overwhelmingly picked against. I do say this… dont sleep on us…

    A good, intelligent post joe! Knowledgeable football fans know that any team can win any game on any given day. I KNOW the Seahawks are not sleeping on your team, and I believe that any Seahawk fan who really knows football isn’t either. Cheers!

  22. jayhawk777 says:
    Jan 7, 2015 5:02 PM
    I remember in 2005 when the panthers shut out the Gmen on the road and came to Seattle and got boat raced. Steve Smith was Steve Jr in that game. Hawks then lost in the SB. It’s not like the Hawks haven’t been a quality squad recently.

    ———————–

    Um, the Panther’s were plagued with injuries and were starting Nick Goings at RB. Equate that game with your “All you guys beat was Ryan Lindley” commentary.

  23. There are some good pieces in Carolina, but Cam Newton still appears like an immature QB. He looked a little inaccurate this year and looks hesitant to run. Nice to see him playing after that freak accident though. Losing Jordan Gross and Steve Smith set back this franchise a year IMO. Seattle is fairly loaded and has the right mind set to win it all. The loss of Brandon Mebane, Casseus Marsh, and Jordan Hill will surely be felt on the D-Line, but the LB core and Secondary will be able to pick up the slack. Add in RW, a true teamer who only cares about winning, not stats, and I don’t see how Carolina can win or even keep it close.

  24. Losing players always has some effect. Usually bad.
    I did watch Cam play against AZ and I thought he played horribly. He’ll need to play light years better for Carolina to win.
    Carolina had a better chance to win with Star playing. The chance of winning hasn’t improved by losing Star.

  25. 2 keys to winning the game for the Panthers is 1. somehow to try and find the endzone against a team that doesn’t allow it to happen very often. 2. Have a great defensive plan and actually execute it. The Rams seem to be a good blueprint for this. Swing your DE’s out wider than normal and don’t let Wilson escape.

  26. Colin Cole is a solid run stuffer, was a starter last year on the #2 defense in the NFL. Kawaan Short and Dwan Edwards are still healthy, too. Yes, losing Lotulelei hurts, but it’s not as if the Panthers can’t move Charles Johnson or Kony Ealy to the inside on passing downs, either. One man doesn’t make or break a defense. Last I checked Kuechly and Davis are still healthy. The secondary that has been on fire is still intact.

  27. Spalding1234: How did losing Steve Smith set this franchise back a year? Having Smith for one last sunset riding season (he confirmed: he would have retired after this season if he stayed in Carolina) would’ve cost the Panthers, Kelvin Benjamin, and Cam Newton a year of growth and chemistry:

    Steve Smith: 1065 yards, 6 TDs
    Kelvin Benjamin: 1008 yards, 9 TDs

    Looks to me like the Panthers didn’t lose anything. And, how can the Panthers keep it close? You obviously didn’t watch or choose to forget the past 3 seasons where these teams battled to the bitter end. And…with homefield on the line a couple of weeks ago, weren’t the RAMS up 6-0 at halftime? Didn’t it take a semi-miracle (see: lucky) bounce of the football for Seattle to finally take control of that game late? Seattle is NOT unbeatable at home…it’s just damn hard to do it…but not impossible. If the previous matchups are any indication, it’s going to come down to the wire again. After three straight losses, maybe it’s Cam’s turn to make a big play? We’ll see…

  28. Calm down, Panthers fans. Any rational Hawks fan isn’t taking your team lightly. We all know the saying “Any Given Sunday”, or Saturday in this case. BUT it’s almost as if you’re ensinuating that Seattle shouldn’t be inclined to believe that they have this one in the bag. Given the fact that we’ve beat you not once, but 3x at YOUR home field the last 3 seasons. Why are we all of a sudden to think that the task won’t be just a tad bit easier this time around? In Seattle, at the Clink, primetime, the 12s. Does that guarantee a win? No. Does it significantly sway the odds in our favor? Absolutely. Let’s just all get along, say good luck, and see how it plays out this weekend. May the best team win.

  29. Two teams that got lucky playing bad teams at the end of the season.

    I also love the new trend that Seahawks fans now have to tell us how long they’ve been fans (truth or not).

    Facebook likes between 2012 and 2014 don’t lie.

  30. I am not sure if these bandwagon Hawks fans believe the crap they are peddling or not, but it will not be as one sided as they think. Panthers are a much better team then their record. Cam has played at or less than 80% all year. He just recently have started showing signs of the true stud he is. The funny thing about studs like Cam, they play their best when the lights are the brightest. I truthfully don’t think he is our QB of the future, but I do think he can get HOT and take us on a run like no one else. If he plays at 100%, Hawks are in trouble.

  31. To win a Super Bowl you have to be lucky and good. Manning is hurting. Rogers is hurting. This is setting up nicely for the Seahawks to repeat.

  32. Seahawk Fans have been consistently supportive of the team since inception……Not sure why so many comments seem to indicate a “band wagon fan” increase means there were no prior fans…..Yes; winning means more attention to the team and more fans are generated………Good on them. I for one, welcome all the “band wagon” fans and really am enjoying getting my young grand kids hooked, as well.

    Go Hawks!

  33. I am not a Painter fan but I would bet this is going to be a good game if Newton does not get rattled ….I hope they win… SEA fans are obnoxious …..I very much dislike cheese heads too, but the Hawks will never get past Lambo……,I like their team,Packers, but their fans are butt heads too……go panthers…… hawks help me have a fav team…..anyone who plays them

  34. Love the presumption of the trolls from other teams; keep up the good work, haters.

    Cam has never been in Seattle. This being his first experience will have a profound effect on his production, especially in the huddle and making adjustments at the line. Star Lotulelei being in the lineup on the defense doesn’t change that.

    In similar vein, idiots who think the Seahawks have no fans from prior to 2012 have no bearing on the truth, they merely fill up the space between relevant posts. It’s like the ones who can’t think up anything better to troll about than PEDs. You’d think with all the free time they have, what with their own teams being out of it, they could come up with better material, but there it is…

  35. Hopping for a speedy recovery for star, but Star actually had an up and down year this year. He played well against the falcons 2 weeks ago and may be one or two other games. Not sure why people think this is a big loss. We were getting gashed on the ground early in the first half of the season with him in the lineup.

    I am absolutely loving the arrogance from Seahawks fans including those that couldn’t locate Seattle on the map 5 years ago. I understand we sucked for almost half the season, but we are a different team. We match up very well with the Seahawks and and anyone that knows football knows that. This game can go either way.

  36. But, if they win………..oh how the Seattle fans will disappear.

    All Cam Newton has done in his brief 4 year history is…Rookie of the Year, 2 Pro Bowls, first EVER repeat champion in the NFC South, broke EVERY rookie passing/running record for a QB, broke a record that was said to be unbreakable (most rushing TDs by a QB). I’m sure the Panthers have ZERO chance of winning this game.

    ___________

    Lets break down Cam’s stats against the Seahawk’s defense:

    PASSING CP/ATT YDS TD INT
    2014 12/22 171 0 1
    2013 16/23 125 1 0
    2012 12/29 141 0 0

    RUSHING ATT YDS TD Fum
    2014 12 24 0 0
    2013 5 38 0 0
    2012 7 49 0 1

    ***These were all played in Carolina****

    Panther’s have a chance no one in their right mind would say the don’t but lets face it there is a consistent pattern here, Cam and company will have their work cut out for them.

  37. stamm321 says:
    Jan 7, 2015 9:59 PM
    they shouldnt be in the playoffs anyway. broken system.

    Dont I remember a certain north western team…. yea the Seahawks being 7-9. I believe the Panthers record is still higher than yours and I bet you didnt complain.

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