Seahawks prepare for new challenge from familiar foe Cam Newton with Patriots

USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks are as familiar with Cam Newton as any team in the NFL that wasn’t a member of the NFC South.

With a pair of playoff meetings and a propensity to finish in the same spot in the division standings as each other, the Seahawks and Newton’s former team, the Carolina Panthers, have faced off on eight separate occasions since 2012. Six of those meetings have been in the regular season with two meetings in the playoffs. The Seahawks have managed to post a 6-2 record against Newton and the Panthers in those eight meetings.

However, while the rivalry with Newton will be renewed this Sunday night in Seattle, the team for which Newton will be playing is a different challenge. With just one game of evidence so far, the Seahawks won’t have a great sense for how the New England Patriots intend to use Newton this Sunday night.

“We do have a real good background with Cam. We don’t know what they’re going to do with him. It’s only one game. We don’t even have the benefit of the preseason games to kind of try to figure it out,” head coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday.

“They have been notorious for changing from one week to the next in how they approach their opponents. We have to go into this game with a wide open look. Almost like a first game. We have some information. They showed they really want to run the football, ran it 42 times in the game, which is a great commitment. But we don’t know. We’ll see.”

In his first game for the Patriots, Newton had two touchdowns and 75 yards on 15 carries. As a team, the Patriots had 42 total rushing attempts over their 63 offensive plays with Newton attempting just 19 passes in total against the Miami Dolphins.

In his eight career games against the Seahawks, Newton has averaged fewer than 200 passing yards a game with just eight touchdown passes and six interceptions.

“We’ve seen Cam run every play that you could run over all these years,” Carroll said. “There’s a wide variety of things that he does and can do. But they did show a willingness to run him downhill, wildcat situations, which is a great way to use your running quarterback.

“They got a lot of stuff. I know that they haven’t shown, couldn’t show it all in one game. We have to be ready for a very wide spectrum of offensive style. It’s a difficult preparation in that regard. At least we know what he looks like, and we know what he is as a runner because of the years past.”