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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Seahawks vs. Panthers Prediction

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
Bank Of America Stadium, Charlotte

This article covers a past game!

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 5:06am EST

Introduction

The Panthers then reeled off four straight victories after Kyle Allen was inserted into the starting lineup under center in place of an ailing Cam Newton. Carolina dispatched Arizona (38-20) and Houston (16-10) on the road before following up with a home win (34-27) over Jacksonville) and a road victory (37-26) over Tampa Bay for their first division victory of the year. The Panthers went on the road and were obliterated 51-13 by an undefeated 49ers team in week eight coming out of a bye. Carolina bounced back with a home win over Tennessee (30-20) before losing at Green Bay (24-16) amidst the snowflakes.

Seattle Seahawks Review

Seattle comes into this contest holding a wild card spot in the NFC with a 10-3 record. The Seahawks stand one game behind the 49ers in the division race though they do own a head to head win. Seattle opened their season with a 21-20 home win over Cincinnati. The Seahawks followed that with a 28-26 road win over Pittsburgh before falling (33-27) at home to New Orleans. Seattle rebounded by drubbing Arizona (27-10) on the road, edging the Rams (30-29) at home and downing Cleveland (32-28) on the road to run their mark to 5-1. The Seahawks lost to the Ravens (30-16) at home before ripping off wins over Atlanta (27-20) on the road, overtime wins over Tampa Bay (40-34) at home and San Francisco (27-24) on the road, in addition to a road win (17-9) over the Eagles and a 37-30 win on Monday night over the Vikings in week 13. That set the Seahawks up for a short week to face the Rams.

Against Los Angeles, Seattle had their issues and it ended up snapping their five-game win streak. The Seahawks led 3-0 early but gave up 21 unanswered points in the first half to trail 21-3 at the half. Seattle didn’t generate an offensive touchdown as their lone touchdown came on a Quandre Diggs’ pick-six in the third quarter. The Seahawks settled for a pair of field goals offensively and that was far from enough in this contest. Seattle was outgained 455-308, gave up 26 first downs while picking up 16 and lost the time of possession battle by a 31:04 to 28:56 margin in the game. The Seahawks forced two turnovers while committing only one, including that pick-six, but it wasn’t nearly enough on the night.

Carolina Panthers Review

Carolina has seen the wheels come off in a hurry as they have dropped to 5-8 on the season. The Panthers are out of the playoff hunt and fired coach Ron Rivera last week after the defeat to Washington. Carolina started the season 0-2 with home losses to the Rams (30-27) and Tampa Bay (20-14) before getting on track after Cam Newton went down with a foot injury. The Panthers then reeled off four straight victories after Kyle Allen was inserted into the starting lineup under center in place of an ailing Cam Newton. Carolina dispatched Arizona (38-20) and Houston (16-10) on the road before following up with a home win (34-27) over Jacksonville) and a road victory (37-26) over Tampa Bay for their first division victory of the year. The Panthers went on the road and were obliterated 51-13 by an undefeated 49ers team in week eight coming out of a bye. Carolina bounced back with a home win over Tennessee (30-20) before losing at Green Bay (24-16) amidst the snowflakes. That started a downhill spiral for the Panthers, who fell (29-3) at home against Atlanta, at New Orleans (34-31) and at home against Washington (29-21) leading into their rematch with the Falcons.

Against the Falcons, the Panthers hung tough for a half before things unraveled. Carolina tied the game at three and at 10 in the first half before trailing 13-10 at the half. The Panthers were outscored 17-0 in the third quarter to go down 30-10 and never recovered as they were blasted to suffer a fifth straight loss. Carolina was outgained 461-345 in the contest. The Panthers did pick up 27 first downs while allowing 22 but lost the time of possession 31:45 to 28:15 in the game. For good measure, Carolina turned the ball over four times while failing to generate a takeaway and gave up a 93-yard touchdown pass to a guy who had zero career receptions prior to that play.

The Running Game

Seattle Seahawks Running Offense
vs. Carolina Panthers Running Defense

Seattle Seahawks Running Offense

Seattle started the season slow on the ground but has turned things up as the season has worn on, which is bad news for the opposition. Against the Bengals, the Seahawks were limited to 25 carries for a total of 72 yards plus a score in the contest in their opener. Since then, the Seahawks have run for at least 100 yards in every game, including six games of at least 150 yards. Seattle has run for more than 125 yards in three of their last four games with last week’s contest being the aberration. Against the Rams, the Seahawks finished with 21 carries for 106 yards on the ground.

Chris Carson leads the team with 246 carries for 1,057 yards plus five scores but he has fumbled six times this season. Rashaad Penny contributes 65 carries for 370 yards and a score but has missed three games this season. Russell Wilson chips in 62 carries for 312 yards and three scores so far this year. C.J. Prosise has seen some action with 14 carries for 43 yards plus a touchdown. The Seahawks have had 13 run plays cover at least 20 yards on the year: Carson has seven while Penny has four. Wilson and Travis Homer (one carry, 29 yards) have the others. Seattle has moved the chains via the ground 101 times this season.

Carolina Panthers Run Defense

Carolina has struggled to slow down the run game of opposing offenses this season. The Panthers have allowed 11 of their 13 opponents to run for at least 100 yards against them this season. Ten times in their 13 games, the opposition has run for at least 4.8 yards per carry with nine teams averaging at least five yards a pop this season. The Panthers have struggled in the last month as three of their four games have seen the opposition go over the century mark. That was highlighted by the 248 yards and three scores that the Redskins put up on them two weeks ago. Last week, the Panthers gave up 32 carries for 159 yards and two scores to the Falcons.

Luke Kuechly leads the team with 114 tackles (63 solo) on the season. Shaq Thompson (103 tackles), Eric Reid (107 tackles, forced fumble, two fumble recoveries), James Bradberry (57 tackles) and Tre Boston (57 tackles) help round out the top five in terms of stops for the Panthers’ defense this season. Thompson leads the team with 10 tackles for loss this season while Mario Addison (30 tackles, two forced fumbles) adds nine. Gerald McCoy (29 tackles) and Vernon Butler (24 tackles, three forced fumbles) each have 8.5 tackles for loss this season. As a team, the Panthers have 82 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and one scoop-six this season.

Stats

SEA

  • 5th in run play percentage (46.38 percent)
  • 3rd in rushing attempts per game (32)
  • 3rd in rushing yards per game (140.8)
  • 7th in yards per carry (4.6)
  • Tied for 14th in rushing TD (12)
  • Tied for 13th in longest rush (59 yards)

CAR

  • 14th in percentage of run plays against (40.47 percent)
  • 19th in run plays per game against (26.5)
  • 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (139.2)
  • 32nd in opposing yards per carry (5.3)
  • 32nd in rushing TD allowed (24)
  • Tied for 16th in longest rush allowed (60 yards)

Who has the Edge?

This one is about as much of a mismatch as one can get on paper. Seattle will pound teams into oblivion with the run game as they will utilize Carson, not to mention the mobility of Wilson. Carolina has been awful at stopping the run this season and they have been scorched for 24 rushing scores. The Panthers have major issues in this department and it is going to be tough sledding for them in this one. Carson likely goes for 100 yards as the Seahawks do a ton of damage in the run game.

Advantage: Seattle Seahawks

Carolina Panthers Running Offense
vs. Seattle Seahawks Running Defense

Carolina Panthers Running Offense

Carolina has one of the most dynamic running backs in the league but they’ve had their ups and downs with the ground game this season. The Panthers have run for more than 100 yards in eight of their 13 games this season, including three games with at least 150 yards on the ground. On the flip side, Carolina has been held under 70 yards three times this season so they have been shut down at times. The run game has been held in check over the last four games as the Panthers have hit the century mark just twice. Last week against Atlanta, Carolina finished with 22 carries for 100 yards and a score.

Christian McCaffrey has been the workhorse running back for the Panthers as he has run the ball 246 times for 1,220 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year. Reggie Bonnafon contributes 12 carries for 101 yards and a score while Curtis Samuel has 13 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown this season. The Panthers have seven run plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: McCaffrey has six of them while Bonnafon has the other one. Carolina has moved the chains via the ground game 64 times so far this season.

Seattle Seahawks Run Defense

Seattle has been fairly strong against the run this season though they have has some rough patches during the course of the year. The Seahawks have allowed five teams to run for at least 100 yards against them this season. Seattle is 3-2 in those games though in the games where they posted their two worst showings against the run, they ended up losing. The Seahawks have given up at least 100 yards on the ground twice in the last month. That includes last week, when Seattle gave up 35 carries for 162 yards plus a pair of scores to the Rams.

Bobby Wagner leads the team in tackles on the season with 129 (72 solo) to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this season. K.J. Wright (109 tackles) has made plays next to Wagner while Tre Flowers (65 tackles, fumble recovery), Mychal Kendricks (62 tackles, forced fumble) and safety Bradley McDougald (55 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) are effective stoppers on the ground as well. Jadeveon Clowney (30 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, TD) leads the team with nine tackles for loss. Kendricks is right behind with eight while Wagner contributes 5.5 tackles for loss. As a team, Seattle has logged 58 tackles for loss, 17 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries, including a fumble return for a score this season.

Stats

CAR

  • 28th in run play percentage (36.76 percent)
  • 21st in rushing attempts per game (24.5)
  • 12th in rushing yards per game (118.9)
  • 4th in yards per carry (4.9)
  • Tied for 2nd in rushing TD (17)
  • 3rd in longest rush (84 yards)

SEA

  • 3rd in percentage of run plays against (35.76 percent)
  • 6th in run plays per game against (22.7)
  • 13th in rushing yards allowed per game (104.4)
  • 25th in opposing yards per carry (4.6)
  • Tied for 29th in rushing TD allowed (15)
  • 11th in longest rush allowed (52 yards)

Who has the Edge?

Carolina has an effective run game and one of the league's elite backs in McCaffrey. The problem in recent weeks is that the Panthers have dug so deep of a hole that they have to abandon the ground game. Carolina is going to have to be more effective on the ground in this one as the Seahawks aren't a team that piles up points in a quick-strike fashion. Seattle is methodical and they can be good against the run led by their linebacker corps. Still, it can be a challenge to slow down a dynamic back like McCaffrey. This one is a wash mainly as a nod to the Panthers' star back.

Advantage: Push

The Passing Game

Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense
vs. Carolina Panthers Passing Defense

Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense

Seattle's passing game has been solid since a slow start in the season opener as they’ve been able to move the sticks despite an overhaul of most of the receiver corps from a season ago. The Seahawks are likely to try to scale back how many times they throw if they can in order to give Wilson the ability to dodge some hits. Seattle has three 300-yard games this season through the air already after going over that mark just once all of 2018. That includes a season-high 378 yards through the air against Tampa Bay in week nine. Over the past month, the Seahawks haven’t thrown for more than 250 yards in a game. Their high-water mark in that stretch, which came last week against the Rams, was 245 yards.

Russell Wilson has completed 280 of 419 passes for 3,422 yards with 26 touchdowns against five interceptions. He has been sacked 40 times on the season, losing 261 yards on those. Tyler Lockett leads the team with 67 receptions for 874 yards plus six scores on the season. Carson (35 catches, 242 yards, two TD) has been a good safety valve out of the backfield while DK Metcalf (50 catches, 783 yards, five TD) and tight end Will Dissly (23 receptions, 262 yards, four TD) are solid options. Dissly suffered a torn Achilles against the Browns in week six and is out for the year. Jacob Hollister (29 receptions, 237 yards, three TD) has stepped up to contribute to replace Dissly’s production. All told, Seattle has 25 pass plays that have covered at least 47 yards this season: Lockett leads the team with 13 while Metcalf is next in line with 12 this season.

Carolina Panthers Passing Defense

Carolina was strong against the pass in the first quarter of the season but they’ve been hit harder since that opening stretch. The Panthers didn’t give up more than 208 yards through the air in their first four games this season. Carolina has been exposed a bit lately, giving up more than 300 yards through the air six times in the last nine games, including a 400-yard game by Tampa Bay in a week six victory. On the plus side, the Panthers have been getting home with the pass rush: they have at least one sack in every game this season, including three games where they have at least six sacks. In the last month, Carolina gave up at least 300 yards through the air three times, including 313 yards to the Falcons last week.

Addison leads the team with 9.5 sacks on the year this season. Brian Burns (21 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery, TD) and Bruce Irvin (27 tackles, seven tackles for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery both have 5.5 sacks. Kuechly leads the team with 11 pass defenses on the season while Bradberry contributes nine pass breakups. Donte Jackson (35 tackles, tackle for loss, fumble recovery) and Ross Cockrell (41 tackles, half-tackle for loss) each have eight. Bradberry and Jackson each have three interceptions to lead the team. Cockrell, Boston and Kuechly each have two. Javien Elliott (31 tackles, half-sack, two tackles for loss) has the team’s other pick on the year. As a team, the Panthers have 47 sacks, 59 pass defenses and 13 interceptions on the year.

Stats

SEA

  • 28th in pass play percentage (53.62 percent)
  • 8th in completion percentage (66.8)
  • 11th in net passing yards per game (243.2)
  • Tied for 2nd in TD passes (26)
  • 4th in INT thrown (five)
  • 7th in net yards per pass attempt (7.5)
  • 23rd in longest pass play (60 yards)
  • 3rd in passer rating (107.5)

CAR

  • 19th in pass play percentage faced (59.53 percent)
  • 15th in passing yards per game allowed (234.8)
  • 17th in completion percentage allowed (63.8)
  • Tied for 6th in TD passes allowed (16)
  • Tied for 3rd in INT (13)
  • 2nd in sacks (47)
  • 5th in passer rating allowed (85.3)
  • 15th in net yards per pass attempt (6.6)

Who has the Edge?

Carolina's defense has fallen off a cliff in the last month and it's going to be a challenge for them here. Even though Seattle doesn't have a laundry list of big names at the receiver or tight end spots, they are extremely effective at moving the ball through the air. Wilson doesn't make a ton of mistakes, which works in their favor. Carolina can pressure the quarterback but they have been carved up through the air recently. It's hard to have much faith in them here. Give the Seahawks the edge.

Advantage: Seattle Seahawks

Carolina Panthers Passing Offense
vs. Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense

Carolina Panthers Passing Offense

Carolina hasn’t had a ton of success through the air as they have had struggles at the quarterback position. The Panthers have had three 300-yard passing games this season. Carolina’s offensive line has been leaky this season as they have allowed at least two sacks in every game. The Panthers have allowed at least four sacks five times this season, including in each of their last four games. Carolina has thrown for at least 275 yards in three of their last four games, including 293 yards in the loss to Atlanta last week.

Kyle Allen is 253 of 407 passing for 2,750 yards with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on the year. He has been sacked 44 times for 385 yards in losses this season. Cam Newton was 50 of 89 for 572 yards with no touchdowns and one interception while getting sacked six times for 43 yards in losses. DJ Moore is second on the team with 78 receptions for 1,061 yards and four scores on the year. McCaffrey contributes a team-high 86 receptions for 726 yards and four touchdowns on the year while Samuel (45 grabs, 566 yards, five TD) and Greg Olsen (48 catches, 552 yards, two TD) are solid secondary targets. Carolina has 33 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season. Moore leads the team with 11 such receptions while Samuel adds eight. McCaffrey has six such pass plays and Olsen chips in five on the year.

Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense

Seattle has had their struggles against the pass in the early part of this season. The Seahawks clearly aren’t the Legion of Boom anymore as Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas aren’t in the secondary making quarterbacks think twice and receivers hear footsteps. Seattle was carved up early and often as Andy Dalton threw all over the field: he completed 35 of 51 passes for 418 yards plus a pair of scores in the opening game of the season. In week 2, the Seahawks have allowed four 300-yard games through the air this season with two teams going over the 400-yard mark. Last week, the Seahawks allowed 293 yards through the air in the loss to the Rams.

Kendricks, Clowney and Rasheem Green (18 tackles, three tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, fumble recovery) each have three sacks to share the team lead. Shaquill Griffin (59 tackles, tackle for loss) leads the team with 13 pass defenses while Wright contributes eight and Flowers has seven. Flowers and Quandre Diggs (13 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery, three pass defenses, TD in four games) each have three picks to share the team lead. McDougald and Tedric Thompson (19 tackles, two pass defenses) each have two interceptions. Kendricks, Wright and Clowney (TD) each add one to the total. The Seahawks have totaled 23 sacks, 60 pass defenses and 13 interceptions, including two defensive touchdowns, so far on the year.

Stats

CAR

  • 5th in pass play percentage (63.24 percent)
  • 27th in completion percentage (61)
  • 19th in passing yards per game (222.6)
  • Tied for 23rd in TD passes (16)
  • Tied for 23rd in INT thrown (13)
  • 30th in net yards per pass attempt (5.8)
  • 28th in longest pass play (52 yards)
  • 27th in passer rating (80.6)

SEA

  • 30th in pass play percentage against (64.24 percent)
  • 29th in net passing yards per game allowed (271.2)
  • 19th in completion percentage allowed (64.1)
  • Tied for 9th in TD passes allowed (17)
  • Tied for 3rd in INT (13)
  • Tied for 29th in sacks (23)
  • 9th in passer rating allowed (86.2)
  • 21st in net yards per pass attempt (seven)

Who has the Edge?

Carolina has been up and down with the passing game as they have given up a lot of sacks and miscues this season. Allen has thrown for some big yards lately but they have been empty yards with the Panthers facing multiple-score deficits on a regular basis. Seattle doesn't generate much heat on the quarterback and that is going to be something that needs to be addressed as the playoffs near. The Panthers can make plays through the air, especially with McCaffrey as a safety valve. Look for Carolina to have a slight advantage in this department.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers

Intangibles

Seattle Seahawks

SEA

  • 30th in pass play percentage against (64.24 percent)
  • 29th in net passing yards per game allowed (271.2)
  • 19th in completion percentage allowed (64.1)
  • Tied for 9th in TD passes allowed (17)
  • Tied for 3rd in INT (13)
  • Tied for 29th in sacks (23)
  • 9th in passer rating allowed (86.2)
  • 21st in net yards per pass attempt (seven)

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are 14th in the league in scoring offense this season as they put up an average of 23.1 points per game on the year. Carolina is 21st in total offense as they average 341.5 yards per contest while ranking 22nd in yards per play as they pick up 5.1 yards per snap. The Panthers are 27th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 27.7 points per contest. Carolina is 24th in the league in total defense by allowing 373.9 yards per game and 21st in yards per play by allowing 5.7 yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Panthers are 25th with a -6 ratio this season.

The Panthers are in the top third of the pack, ranked 11th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone as they cash in 60.98 percent of their chances. Defensively, Carolina has been miserable as they are 26th in red zone defense by allowing 60.78 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Panthers are in the bottom tier of the pack in third down conversions, ranking 29th by converting 31.33 percent of their third down situations this season. Carolina’s defense is 19th in those situations as opposing teams have converted on 40.37 percent of their third downs. The Panthers are 24th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 48.35 percent of the time this season.

Joey Slye has hit 27 of 31 extra points and 21 of 28 field goal attempts as a rookie this season with a long of 55 yards. Michael Palardy has averaged 45.3 yards per kick on 61 punts this season with a 40.2-yard net average. He has dropped 19 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line with only two touchbacks: his long boot on the year is 58 yards. DeAndrew White averages 22.3 yards on nine kick returns with a long of 36 this season. Moore has averaged 8.2 yards on five punt returns with a long of 16 this year.

Who has the Edge?

Carolina has has their struggles this season and the numbers bear that out. The Panthers are prone to giving up big plays and they turn the ball over more often than they generate takeaways this season. Seattle is solid offensively and they have a very good special teams group that can make life difficult. Carolina has a rookie kicker in Slye who has missed some kicks this season and it could prove to be costly. Pete Carroll has a Super Bowl ring, not to mention his success at USC previously. The Panthers have had plenty of upheaval of late and that costs them here. Seattle has the edge in this category.

Advantage: Seattle Seahawks

Final Outlook

Seattle is still battling for the NFC West title, which is the difference between at least one home game in the playoffs and playing in the wild card round on the road. Carolina is going nowhere fast and there are a lot of guys playing for their jobs at this point. The Panthers are at home but they have been torched defensively. That's a major problem for them because they have continued to fall into big deficits that they have been unable to climb out of in the last month. Seattle needs the win with divisional games looming in the final two weeks of the season.

According to Covers.com, the Seahawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Carolina is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 14 points. With Seattle having so much at stake, you have to give them the upper hand in this contest.

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks -6.5

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Carolina's scoring defense has taken a massive hit of late, which has put a ton of pressure on an inconsistent offensive attack. The Panthers have given up at least 29 points in each of their last four games and at least 24 points in nine of their 13 games. Carolina has hit the 30-point mark offensively on the scoreboard five times this season. Seattle has scored at least 27 points in nine different games this season and is coming off their season-low in points last week against the Rams. Will the Seahawks come up with a better showing in this contest?

The over is 6-1 in the Seahawks' last 7 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game, 4-1 in their last five in December and 7-2 in their last nine against teams with a losing record. Carolina has seen the over go 5-1 in their last 6 games following a straight up loss, 4-1 in their last 5 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game and 4-1 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss. The over is 5-0 in the last five meetings. Seattle should have a good offensive day and the Panthers' garbage time offense helps push this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 48.5

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Seattle is 11th in the league in first half scoring offense as they average 12.3 ppg this season in the opening 30 minutes. The Seahawks own a -0.6 ppg scoring differential in the first half on the year. Carolina is 19th in the league in first half scoring with an average of 11 points per game. The Panthers own a -1.5 ppg scoring differential this season in the opening half of games. Seattle gets the upper hand in this one as the Panthers are falling apart at this point.

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks -3.5

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Seattle is tied for 22nd in the league in first half scoring defense this season as they allow 12.9 ppg this season. The Seahawks' average first half has put up an average of 25.2 ppg this season. Carolina is 20th in the league in first half scoring defense by allowing 12.5 ppg this season. The Panthers see an average of 23.5 ppg in the opening half of games this year. Given the way things have gone for Carolina of late, this one ends up over the total after 30 minutes of action.

Prediction: Over 24
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.