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Carolina Panthers have pattern of losing 4th-quarter leads

In 10 of Ron Rivera’s 21 losses as Panthers head coach, Carolina has led in the fourth quarter (the 10 blown leads ties for an NFL high with Philadelphia in that time period). A closer look at those 10 games:

2011

1) at Arizona: In Rivera’s first game as a head coach, Carolina leads 21-14 in the fourth quarter. But the defense gives up a 70-yard touchdown pass and then the special teams gives up an 89-yard punt return. Carolina loses 28-21.

2) New Orleans: The Panthers lead 27-23 early in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees takes the Saints on an 89-yard, 13-play drive to score with 50 seconds left. With all three timeouts and 50 seconds to go, Cam Newton can’t get Carolina close to field-goal range and Panthers lose 30-27.

3) at Atlanta: Carolina leads the Falcons 17-14 early in the fourth quarter. Newton throws two fourth-quarter interceptions. Atlanta wins 31-17.

4) Atlanta: Carolina leads 23-17 early in the fourth quarter. Julio Jones scores on TD passes of 17 and 75 yards, sandwiched around Olindo Mare’s missed 36-yard field goal, and Atlanta wins 31-23.

2012

5) at Atlanta: Leading 28-27, Rivera calls for a punt on 4th-and-1 at the Atlanta 45. Carolina downs the punt at the 1 with 0:59 left. Matt Ryan throws a 59-yard pass over Haruki Nakamura’s head to set up a winning field goal. Falcons win 30-28.

6) Dallas: Panthers lead 14-13 but lose 19-14 on two fourth-quarter Dallas field goals. Down 16-14, the Panthers did go for it on fourth-and-1 at their own 40 but missed it.

7) at Chicago: Carolina leads 19-7 entering the fourth quarter. A punt on 4th-and-1 at Carolina’s 32 goes 6 yards. Bears score one TD, then score immediately on a Newton interception that is returned for a TD. Newton gets Panthers back ahead with field-goal drive, but extremely soft coverage from the Carolina secondary allows Bears to win 23-22 with a field goal in final seconds.

8) Tampa Bay: Panthers lead 21-13, don’t go for 4th-and-1 at Tampa Bay 49 and punt to Bucs with 1:02 left. With no timeouts, Bucs march 80 yards, score, get the two-point conversion and score a TD on first drive of overtime to win 27-21.

2013

9) Seattle: Panthers lead 7-6 early in the fourth quarter. DeAngelo Williams fumbles inside Seattle 10 late in game. Seahawks run out the clock and win the game 12-7.

10) Buffalo: With a 20-17 lead, Panthers run the ball three times to use up all Buffalo’s timeouts after the two-minute warning. The Panthers don’t go for fourth-and-1 from Buffalo 21, instead kicking field goal.

Buffalo gets ball back with 1:38 left and no timeouts. Bills drive 80 yards and win 24-23 by scoring TD with 0:02 left.

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