Prediction: Seahawks will beat the Panthers

RENTON, Wash. -- After back-to-back losses, the Seattle Seahawks have an East Coast road game where one of two teams that expected to a be playoff contender this season will have a losing record when the game ends, unless there’s a rare tie.

Both the Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers are reeling, desperately needing a victory to keep from falling into a deeper midseason hole in the playoff hunt. So the question is which team is in better position to get out of the rut and earn a much-needed win?

Judging by how well the Seattle offense played in the second half last week, and with a full week to get over the surprise of the Percy Harvin trade, this should be a victory for the Seahawks.

Believe it or not, this is a better offense without Harvin, not to mention a better environment all around. Seattle had a season-best 463 yards of offense at St. Louis, including three consecutive drives of 80 yards or more in the second half.

And moving Doug Baldwin back to the slot in the three-wide formation, where he excels, showed big time last week when he had seven receptions for 123 yards and one TD catch.

Now the Seahawks are playing a Carolina defense that has allowed an average of 34.8 points per game in its past five outings.

The Seahawks still have some issues to fix, especially the pass rush, but shipping out Harvin was a step in the right direction and it will show on Sunday.

My prediction: Seahawks 24, Panthers 20