Carolina went to Foxboro without anyone giving them a shot to win, well except the Freak’n Puerto Rican of the C3 Carolina Panthers podcast. Well, the Panthers didn’t get the memo. Carolina defeated the Patriots 33-30 in a typical down to the wire, Cardiac Cats type win.
Up 30-16 with 10 minutes to play, Carolina’s offense took advantage New England’s league-worst defense, putting together their best offensive performance to date. A struggling Cam Newton willed the Panthers to a gritty victory in one of the most inhospitable environments in the NFL. Cam Newton threw for 316 yds, 3TDs, and he ran for 44 yds and 1 TD.
On the defensive side of the ball, a hurting Julius Peppers sacked Tom Brady twice and frustrated him early to allow the Panthers to get a much-needed lead. Brady led the Patriots on a two-touchdown, fourth-quarter comeback to tie the game with 3:14 to play.
Things started to slow down for the Panther offense as Cam Newton was sacked on 3-7 on their on 27 in what would have should have given the Patriots the ball back with over 2 minutes left on the clock. The momentum which was swinging late towards the Patriots was squandered with a hands to the face penalty on Patriots corner, Stephon Gilmore. It was the second illegal use of hands penalty by Gilmore on the day, and it gave Carolina a second life that led to a game-winning drive sealed by a 48-yd field goal by Graham Gano with 4-seconds left.
It was a big win for the Panthers that required all sides of the ball to contribute. Carolina’s offense came to life. The defense held Brady at bay long enough, and the special teams unit closed the deal. It was the typical Cardiac Cattish game we have become accustomed, but the win didn’t come cheap. Kurt Coleman left the game with a knee injury. Damiere Byrd looks to have sustained a serious arm injury. Julius Pepper played with a banged up shoulder, and Mario Addison rolled his ankle on a play.
The 3-1 Panthers will face the 3-1 Detroit Lions next week in what will be another tough challenge for a team fighting injury and fighting for the division lead.
By Tony Dunn
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