Sunday, October 28, 2012

Panthers lose 23-22 on Chicago field goal on final play -- blow 12-point fourth-quarter lead

The Carolina Panthers certainly made some changes this week – they fired their general manager and significantly changed their running game. But the ultimate result was the same, as the Panthers lost 23-22 to the Chicago Bears on a 41-yard field goal from Chicago’s Robbie Gould on the game’s last play.

The Panthers (1-6) wasted a lot of good work and a 19-7 lead entering the fourth quarter. They are now 1-10 in games decided by seven points or less under coach Ron Rivera. Chicago is 6-1 this season.

Justin Medlock made five field goals for Carolina – including a 45-yarder that banged off the right upright and in with 2:27 to go – to give the Panthers a 22-20 lead. That field goal followed the Bears taking a 20-19 lead.

Chicago then got the ball down 22-20 for a final drive, needing a field goal to win. With the Panthers playing soft zone coverage, Chicago easily completed several short passes in a row. That set up Gould’s 41-yard field-goal attempt, which he banged home after missing another shorter field goal earlier in the quarter.

The game really changed, however, when the Bears scored two touchdowns in a span of eight seconds in the fourth quarter Sunday, erasing a 19-7 Carolina lead in stunning fashion.

Down 19-7 to begin the fourth quarter, the Bears missed a field goal but finally got to the end zone on a Cutler TD pass to Kellen Davis. That cut the Carolina lead to 19-14 with 6:52 to go.

The Bears then kicked the kickoff into the end zone. On the first play from his own 20, Cam Newton threw a sideline pass toward Steve Smith. But Smith slipped on the route and cornerback Tim Jennings caught the ball and danced 25 yards down the sideline for a startling TD. Chicago missed the two-point conversion when Josh Norman intercepted the pass, but the Bears still led 20-19 with 6:44 to go.

The Panthers promised changes in the wake of general manager Marty Hurney’s firing, and there certainly were some. The zone-read option – the slow-developing play where Newton sticks the ball into the running back’s stomach and then decides whether or not to pull it away – was abolished. The Panthers ran a much more traditional running game, although it was really no more effective.

But the Panthers’ defense was very good – until the fourth quarter and especially on the final drive, when they played way too soft and couldn’t get to Cutler at all.

In the first half, Carolina sacked Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler six times (three by Greg Hardy) and rattled him into three turnovers (two lost fumbles and an interception). The Bears left the field at halftime down 13-7 and to a chorus of boos, and Cutler appeared to be caught on TV cameras angrily mouthing something about those boos.

The Panthers gained far more yardage than Chicago (416-210) but couldn’t score TDs. Their only one came on Louis Murphy’s fortunate and alert fumble recovery of Newton’s fumble at the Chicago 1 in the second quarter. But Medlock had a huge day after only kicking two field goals all season prior to Sunday. But Chicago had the last-minute answer as the Panthers found a way to lose – again – after playing one of their best games of the season.

40 comments:

CAMWHO? said...

Same Cam, same result.

Greg Briley Photography said...

Again, Panthers did their best not to lose. I have no respect for that. I would, however, if they lost leaving it all on the field. So telling of how screwed up the org is.

Anonymous said...

Man, if there is a way to lose, we'll find it. We have no plan when we're in the red zone.

Anonymous said...

Breaking: Moody's and S&P have announced the upgrading of sports bets against the Carolina Panthers to 'AAA Investment Grade' rating.

Anonymous said...

Time to fire the coach. He coached scared and not to lose all day.

Anonymous said...

Rivera coached scared all day. Time to go.

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder what in the world was going through cam's head and rivera's when cam threw that pick with 6 minutes and change left.Cams wheels are better than his arm.Run it....run it.....run it. This team is cursed!

Anonymous said...

DB's can't give up 7-8 yds in the last two minutes of a game....they wasted a great effort by the defense line.....fire the DB coach and what happened to running the ball inside the 10 yd line? Awful offense....coaches are done after this....they have the rest of the season to audition for there next gig...

BigCat61 said...

Iknew they would lose it.Can't shake the losing culture.

Anonymous said...

Calm down everyone, relax - it's still the pre-season. We'll be fine once the reg- ... wait, it already started? Oh man, we're in trouble!

Anonymous said...

the panthers always come up with a way to give the game away.The defense was too soft on the last bears drive for the winning field goal.

Harry said...

This is no longer about the players, they came out and played hard and for the most part they brought their "A" game! Cam, O & D lines outplayed the Bears. How did we find a way to lose after the D line dominated the Bears O line & had Cutler scambling - up until that last Bears drive. The 4th quarter is on the coaches, both head and defensive coordinator. It was a repeat by the coaches - we played not to lose rather than to win. I applaud the players and hope they can keep playing this way the remainder of the season. This one will be difficult to swallow. Disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me why our defense is taunting and talking smack on a 1-5 (now 1-6) team? Can someone explain to me why Steve Smith is taunting and talking smack on a 1-5 (now 1-6) team? This is absurd. Will this bizarre and childish behavior continue until the end of the year? Why don't we focus on winning versus showboating? I don't get it. It is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Played O.K. especially on the road in Chicago. Chicago was on autopilot for 3 1/2 quarters. Known fact, Panthers are apt to lose in final 2-3 minutes, behind by a few or ahead. Vegas given. Next steps, don't be so darn predictable. Needed some TDs over all those FGs. Go Panthers.

Anonymous said...

No mention of our kick/punt game? It cost us the lead!

Anonymous said...

And we gave Marshall a 7-10yd cushion every play on the final drive why? Pathetic and a well deserved loss.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen a 6 yard punt before? They will always find ways to lose. It's one of the safest bets in America right now.

Someone has to get fired, cut or traded. Hopefully we can get a good draft pick for DeAngelo Williams this week. Why keep three expensive running backs that have a hard time picking up 1 or 2 yards in the 4th quarter.

Ken said...

They used to be nicknamed the Cardiac Cats because they never gave up and they won games in the last minute. What shall we call them now that they lose games in the last minute? Heart Attack Cats, Shameful Cats or Pitiful Cats?

Anonymous said...

I think that pick was on steve smith by slipping,but i agree....why not run the clock.

Mike P said...

The Bears ran the SAME play the entire way down the field and the Panthers/coaches didn't make adjustments, again. This coaching staff couldn't win a game in Madden. And passing on 1st down from your own 20, when you should be trying to run the clock out? Absolutely ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Why do you pass from your own 20 on FIRST down when you should be running the clock out? Why are you unable to adjust to the same play on the last drive when they throw the same slant route 5 times is a row? Coaches? Our staff couldn't win on Madden!

Anonymous said...

This game should have been won!

Anonymous said...

another panther loss brought to you courtesy of Super Cam...

Anonymous said...

well at least we have a good draft pick to look forward to. trade williams while we can get something for him

Ben Snyder said...

I have to question the secondary coaches. Remember a few weeks back on the final ATL drive when Nakamura backed up too far and let the Atlanta receiver get in front of him? Norman did the same exact thing today on the final drive.

I really like Rivera -- he's still a breath of fresh air after the Fox era but holy cow, I keep feeling like it's the coaches that are failing.

You can't play a freaking zone defense in those situations. You do, and like the Panthers prove, you lose.

Anonymous said...

keys to a winning team: coaches, talent and a game plan. panthers only have talent at this time. the defense played well. there are some areas we need improvement: special teams, offensive line, defensive line(DE) and secondary. the team is needing a new head coach or the team will just really fall apart. Rivera is not coaching!!! he is just standing on the sideline. this is just sad. I fell bad for the players.

Anonymous said...

I rather they get blowed out than to costantly lose close games. As a fan, it takes away the ability to cheer for them because it seems pointless. Two years of this can chase fans away. It'll take a whole season of reverse blowouts to rebuild the faith in this team. Totally disappointed.

Bryan said...

Such an opportunity to steal one. What a shame.

Can't say enough about Smitty's effort.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the plug

papa bear
mama bear
baby bear

we win

Anonymous said...

Rivera lost his job today. Horrible coaching all day.

LitLover said...

Despite the loss, the changes on offense were definitely noticeable...in a positive way. Cam seemed much more comfortable, Steve and Lafell had great numbers. The most frequent suggestions by fans that went in the "suggestion box" was that the option play should be trashed and Cam should show more maturity. Both of those things happened today.

But as soon as we fixed those ills, it seems we reverted back to our prior problems...when we're playing well we can never seem to close out games. I know it would be easy to blame it all on the offense and Cam's interception, but the real problem is that whenever the Panthers are in the midst of a close game, the defense ALWAYS gives it away. Our D Line was great today and seems to be gradually improving-- I'm actually quite happy with those results. But our secondary is just horrible. Some of this might have something to do with Gamble's injury, but it seems like more of a coaching problem to me. Sean McDermott doesn't seem to believe in tight coverage.

The only bright spot in the secondary is Charles Godfrey. In the midst of this horrible season, a lot of fans have neglected to give him credit. He has become a real presence. :)

Anonymous said...

The offense did play much better. They moved the ball well and possessed the ball way longer than the Bears. But they couldn't score TD's. That was the ultimate factor that doomed them. The D only gave up 16 freakin points. So once again- this was on the Offense, though they looked much better.

hhs7575 said...

Two words......Play Anderson!!!

Anonymous said...

Rivera lacks the knowledge of what it takes to win. Why would we expect anything but a loss from the players. Good coaches win and bad coaches lose, no secret here. One can blame the assistant coaches, but who do they report in the chain of command. I've never witnessed a travesity of coaching as bad as this in my 40 years of watching NFL football.

Anonymous said...

Owner settled for a 2nd rate coach to save money. Harbaugh had expressed interest but JR too cheap. Sad day...

Anonymous said...

How does Rivera NOT at least TRY for a 50 yard field go at the end of the half? And whose brilliant idea was kicking away from Hester and giving them the ball on the 45 all day? Throw in a 6 yard punt -- yeah, that kept it away from Hester all right -- and a good effort was flushed down the tube. Coaching...

Marty Hurney said...

Heh. And you guys thought firing me was the trick. Suckas.

Anonymous said...

Scam Newton wouldn't even congratulate his own teammate for saving his butt on that end-zone fumble...and thank God I didn't have to endure another one of those childish "Superman" poses

Anonymous said...

6 sacks, 2 ints, 1 fumble, and many hurries. That is what pressring Cutler got. On final drive, Panthers let Cutler make the SAME pass to the SAME side the exact SAME way 6 times in a row. Forget getting to Cutler, why were the CB's not on the line challenging the short passes (with safety over top to prevent long pass). Terrible coaching and you see it time and time again - abandon what got you in the lead to begin with and then shake your head in surprise when the result goes bad.

david riddle said...

Cutler and Marshall ARE Chicagos best offense. HOW HOW HOW HOW DO YOU LET THEM COMPLETE 5 STRAIGHT PASSES IN A ROW????? I dont get it. I seriously doesnt make any sense. HOW? They need 50 yards to a FG win, so we let them pitch and catch til they get 45????? No press...no bump and run...no nothing???? I thought coaches were smarter then that.
NORMAN..please listen, you are very firey and i like your style. IF THE STUPID coaches tell you to EVER play back 10 yards when the games on the line..DONT! DO not listen to your DB coach. I know that you knew it was a bad idea to let him #15 catch and catch and catch and catch the ball. I dont get it, NO ONE GETS IT...no one.