The Carolina Panthers played another very ugly game at home Sunday, losing 16-12 to Seattle to drop to 1-4 on what is rapidly becoming another lost season.
Much like the season opener against Tampa Bay, the Panthers offense ultimately let the team down this time. Carolinas defense not only kept the game close but also scored the Panthers only touchdown, on a 33-yard interception return by Captain Munnerlyn that briefly put Carolina ahead, 10-6.
But the Panthers offense was horrible. It couldnt run the ball and DeAngelo Williams lost a key fumble that eventually led to Seattles only TD. And Cam Newton threw the ball more poorly than Ive ever seen him throw it, generating more boos at Bank of America Stadium than he ever has before.
Entering the fourth quarter, Newton was 5-for-20 for 55 yards. It was stunning. The Seahawks pass rush was great, yes, and Newton had several dropped balls, but still five completions in three quarters?!
Trailing 16-10, the Panthers got untracked for one last drive and, after several straight completions, had a first-and-goal at the 6 and a fourth-and-goal at the 1.
But on that fourth-and-goal play, Carolina took out all of its wide receivers and then tried to trick Seattle with a play-action pass. Tight end Greg Olsen was double-covered and Newton tried to guide the ball to his secondary target, Ben Hartsock, who was open for a moment, but he grounded it five yards short.
Carolina got one last shot, starting its final drive with 54 seconds left and no timeouts from its own 31 after Seattle took an intentional safety in its own end zone to make it 16-12 instead of 16-10. The Panthers still would need to score a TD either way.
But 69 yards in 54 seconds proved far too tall of a task, as Newton was sacked and fumbled on the second play and Seattle recovered and ran out the clock.