The Carolina Panther held on to defeat the Patriots, literally.
Carolina won its 6th straight game over the Patriots on Monday Night Football to improve to 7-3 on the season, and are now just 1 game behind the Saints for the NFC South lead.
The Panthers took the lead over the Patriots with 1:09 left off a Ted Ginn Jr. 25-yard touchdown that capped off a 13-play 5 and a half minute drive. One minute and 9 seconds was more than enough time for Brady to drive down the field and score.
But it wasn’t meant to be on this night. New England had the ball at the Panthers 18-yard line with 3 seconds remaining when Tom Brady’s end-zone pass intended for Rob Gronkowski was intercepted by Robert Lester.
The officials originally threw a flag in the end-zone that would been pass interference on the Panthers, but the flag was picked up and the game ended.
Cam Newton made all the plays he had to in this one completing 19 of 28 passes for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns. In the game, Newton became the 3rd Panther in franchise history to surpass the 10,000 yard mark.
The costliest play of the game came early in the 2nd quarter with the Patriots driving deep in Panthers territory. On a 2nd down play from Carolina’s 13-yard line, Steven Ridley fumbled for the 3rd time this season, and the Panthers recovered.
Carolina responded with a field goal to take a 10-0 lead. That was a potential 10-point swing that would come back to hurt the Pats.
Each team exchanged leads as the game went along. After the Patriots fought back to tie the game at 10, Carolina came right back to take a 17-10 lead off a Greg Olson touchdown. The Patriots responded by taking a 20-17 lead mid-way through the 4th, but it wasn’t enough.
New England now falls to 7-3 on the season, but maintains a 2-game lead in the AFC East.
Up next for the Patriots is a Sunday Night showdown against the Broncos in Foxborough, while the Panthers look to make it 7 in a row when they visit the Dolphins in Miami.