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Panthers at Bears Final Score: Offensive Miscues doom Panthers, lose 17-3

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The Panthers lost to the Bears in a defensive slug fest.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways

  • The Panthers offense needs to figure itself out. The rushing game struggled for most of the game, and the turnovers for TDs did this team in. They need to find a way to score, driving into the redzone is not enough.
  • The Panthers defense continues to get sacks, but that’s about it. Still no turnovers, still allowing big plays. This defense needs to finds its groove again.
  • Kelvin Benjamin’s drops killed the Panthers today. Whether it caused an INT or didn’t help them convert, he needs to step up in situations like this.
  • For the love of god Shula, STOP RUNNING INSIDE TO OPEN DRIVES! Teams know it is coming, be creative.

The first quarter started off decent for the Panthers offense, with Cam making several completions downfield. The offense still struggled to run the ball, but their first drive ended when Curtis Samuel dropped a pitch on an option play, and the Bears took the fumble all the way for a touchdown. The Panthers offense didn’t gain a first down on the next two drives. Luckily, the defense came through and stopped the Bears. The Bears started to drive at the end of the first quarter, but a sack by Captain Munnerlyn took the offense out of comfortable field goal range, and Connor Barth missed the 52 yard kick to open the second quarter. 7-0, Bears.

The Panthers finally seemed to find a groove again, within scoring distance, only to have a tipped pass by Kelvin Benjamin intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Eddie Jackson. The Panthers managed to answer with a long drive, however that ended in a field goal. The Bears turned around with a deep completion to Tarik Cohen to but them inside the 10. Luckily, Julius Peppers made two straight plays on defense and the Bears were forced to kick a field goal. The Panthers almost drove into field goal territory to end the half, but a miscue of alignment by Russel Shepard caused the half to end.

The Panthers offense continued to struggle in the 3rd, unable to convert fourth downs or get into scoring range. The defense held the Bears, but the offense continued to sputter. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers again started a drive that ended with a Cam Newton interception. The defense again held up, but the offense couldn’t capitalize and had to punt with less than 4 minutes left in the game. The Bears held onto the ball til the end of the game.

The Panthers have the Bucs next. Hopefully they figure themselves out by then.