Charlotte, NC – Cam Newton fumbled on Carolina's final possession and Seattle recovered, allowing the Seahawks to capture a 16-12 victory over the Panthers on the road.
After Newton failed to convert on fourth down from Seattle's 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter, he got another chance. The Seahawks were pinned back on their own side of the field and were forced to punt, but the snap to punter Jon Ryan was high and he opted to take a safety.
Trailing 16-12 with less than a minute to play, Newton was sacked by Bruce Irvin, who forced a fumble on the play and Seattle recovered to seal the victory.
Russell Wilson, who completed 19-of-25 passes for a career-high 221 yards, overcame two interceptions by throwing the go-ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate late in the third quarter for Seattle (3-2), which lost to the St. Louis Rams last Sunday.
"I think Russell really showed his strength as a football player and a competitor," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of his quarterback. "There's been a lot of scrutiny about him and all that stuff and he just hung tough."
Steven Hauschka converted field goals from 22, 36 and 44 yards in the victory.
Newton was 12-of-29 for 141 yards and added 42 yards rushing on seven carries for Carolina (1-4), which has dropped three straight games.
"I can say about myself I haven't been playing good football," Newton admitted.
Prior to Wilson's TD pass, Seattle had turned the ball over three straight times after opening the second half with a 6-3 lead.
Seattle's Leon Washington fumbled on the kickoff to start the third quarter and Carolina recovered.
The Panthers were unable to do anything with the good field position and were forced to punt away. However, Captain Munnerlyn intercepted Wilson on the first play of Seattle's ensuing drive and returned it 33 yards for a score to give Carolina a 10-6 lead.
On Seattle's next possession, Wilson was again intercepted after his pass intended for Marshawn Lynch was tipped up in the air and picked off by Luke Kuechly.
However, Seattle got one back after forcing a turnover following an exchange of punts.
Carolina started at its own 30 and on the first play of the drive DeAngelo Williams fumbled the ball and Brandon Browner of Seattle recovered. Faced with a 3rd-and-8, Wilson completed a pass near the goal line to Tate, who spun his way into the end zone to give Seattle a 13-10 lead.
The Panthers went three-and-out on their next possession and punted back to Seattle.
Lynch picked up 19 yards rushing on the first two plays of the drive before Wilson completed a 23-yard pass to Zach Miller at the Carolina 23, however Seattle couldn't pick up another first down and Hauschka added three with a 44-yard field goal.
On the ensuing possession, the Panthers ran 11 plays and used up nearly seven minutes of the fourth quarter clock, but came away with nothing.
Newton completed his first six passes of the drive to lead the Panthers down the field, but his seventh fell incomplete on fourth down from the 1-yard line.
On 3rd-and-6 Newton connected with Louis Murphy, who was downed just in front of the end zone. On fourth, Newton scrambled and threw it to an open Ben Hartsock, but his pass was short and landed several feet in front of the tight end.
Seattle scored on its first offensive possession. After a short punt from Carolina's Brad Nortman, the Seahawks started on the Carolina 45. Wilson completed an 18-yard strike to Sidney Rice on the first play of the drive and Doug Baldwin hauled in a 13-yard pass to give Seattle a first down on the Carolina 11. However, the drive stalled and Hauschka kicked one through from 22 yards out to give the Seahawks the early lead.
Both teams exchanged punts the rest of the first quarter, but Seattle tacked on three more early in the second.
Wilson completed passes of 10 yards to Braylon Edwards and 12 yards to Rice to cross midfield. Rice hauled in another catch later in the drive to give Seattle a new set of downs on the Panthers' 25, but the Seahawks only advanced seven more yards and settled for a Hauschka 36-yard field goal.
The Panthers responded later in the quarter, driving down the field in 13- plays to get into field goal range for Justin Medlock, who kicked a 32-yarder just before halftime.
The Panthers have started 1-4 for the second consecutive season ... Lynch has run for at least 85 yards in every game this season after amassing that total today on 21 carries ... Panthers' Steve Smith caught four passes for 40 yards, extending his consecutive games streak with a catch to 80 games ... Carolina will not be in action next week due to a bye and Seattle will host the New England Patriots next Sunday.