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Top Seahawks offensive plays: No. 2

It was a game-winning catch in the first game of the season, which proved more important than anyone could have imagined.

No. 2 -- Jermaine Kearse’s 43-yard TD catch at Carolina.

The Seattle offense was having a tough day in Charlotte against the rugged Carolina defense in the season opener. Early in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks trailed the Panthers, 7-6, and hadn’t scored a touchdown.

On first-and-10 at the Carolina 43, Russell Wilson threw it deep down the sideline for Stephen Williams, but Williams couldn’t hold on to the ball.

It looked like a wasted opportunity, but one play later Wilson would try to again, this time to Kearse.

From the shotgun, Wilson took the snap with Marshawn Lynch to his right. Wilson faked the handoff to Lynch off the read-option and Wilson rolled to the right.

Kearse, who was the wide receiver on the right, was streaking down the sideline and had a step on cornerback Josh Thomas. Wilson let it fly as safety Charles Godfrey was late over the top trying to reach Kearse, who made a leaping catch at the 3 and fell into the end zone.

A two-point conversion attempt was incomplete when Wilson tried to get it to Doug Baldwin, but the Seahawks held on to win, 12-7.

No one knew at the time how good the Panthers were, finishing the regular season 12-4 and winning the NFC South.

That catch by Kearse accounted for a victory the Seahawks needed to win the NFC West over the 49ers. It would prove to be one of several big plays by Kearse, who was one of the best surprises of the season for the Seahawks.