The Panthers came into Week 6 riding a three-game winning streak and faced a surprisingly good Bears team at home, but they couldn’t quite put things together on offense and fell to 3-3 on the season after a disappointing 23-16 loss.
The Panthers started the game on a sour note after Teddy Bridgewater threw an interception from his own 1-yard line. The Bears promptly took the lead on a Nick Foles touchdown pass to Cole Kmet. The Panthers never managed to catch up, even though they kept the game close all afternoon.
The defense did a decent job at containing the Bears offense, but it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the pitiful day by the Panthers offense. Bridgewater couldn’t get anything going today and sealed Carolina’s loss with a back breaking interception on the Panthers’ final drive, and the Bears were able to kneel out the clock to end the day.
There’s no dancing around it: this was a poor effort from the Panthers today. There were plenty of opportunities for them to score points and take the lead, but the Bears’ red zone defense lived up to their reputation and prevented the Panthers from doing so. A combination of settling for field goals instead of scoring touchdowns and turning the ball over at the worst times ensured the Panthers would drop back to .500 after six weeks, and now they’ll have to pick up the pieces and try to rebound against the Saints next week.
Hopefully things go better for them than they did today.
Fourth quarter: Panthers 16 - Bears 23
The Panthers continued their drive by picking up another fourth down conversion on a Mike Davis run. DJ Moore drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone to give the Panthers first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Mike Davis brought the Panthers back to within one score on the next play with a 1-yard touchdown run. A Joey Slye extra point made the score 20-13 with just over 13 minutes to go.
The Bears drove back down the field and added another field goal to extend their lead back to 10 points with 9:19 left in the game. The Panthers defense did a good job at keeping the Bears out of the end zone to keep the game manageable.
The Panthers offense had something going after a huge catch from Moore but the drive stalled and they had to settle for another field goal from Slye to cut the deficit back to seven points with 7:46 left in the game.
The defense did a great job keeping the Bears off the scoreboard with a huge stop to give the offense a chance to tie the game with just over five minutes to go. The Panthers had a huge fourth-and-2 conversion to keep the drive (and the game) alive, but they were unable to pick up the first down after DJ Moore couldn’t come down with Bridewater’s pass.
The defense came up with another huge stop with 1:40 left and gave the offense a chance to score a game-tying touchdown, but Teddy Bridgewater threw an interception and sealed the game for the Bears after a disappointing afternoon for the Panthers.
Third quarter: Panthers 6 - Bears 20
The Panthers started the second half on defense and did a good job by forcing the Bears to punt, but the offense had to start their first drive of the half inside their own 5-yard line after a great punt by Pat O’Donnell.
The Panthers managed to get some momentum going that was quickly dashed by a Mike Davis fumble, but on the very next play Jeremy Chinn got the ball right back for the Panthers by picking off a Nick Foles pass.
Teddy Bridgewater threw a pick six on the very next play, but fortunately Kyle Fuller committed pass interference on Robby Anderson just before Eddie Jackson picked off the pass to negate the touchdown and return possession to Carolina. Anderson made an amazing diving catch on the next play to put the Panthers into Bears territory and give the offense some momentum as they tried to tie the game. The drive stalled at the Bears 35-yard line and Joey Slye missed a 54-yard field goal to keep the score at 13-6 in favor of the Bears.
The Bears offense marched down the field on their ensuing possession and extended their lead on a Nick Foles touchdown run. Juston Burris had to be carted off the field on the play prior to the touchdown run after taking a hard hit from David Montgomery while bringing him to the ground. The extra point was good and it extended the Bears lead to 14 points with 1:44 left in the quarter.
The Panthers took advantage of a few penalties on the Bears defense to keep their drive going, but they were unable to score before the quarter ended.
Second quarter: Panthers 6 - Bears 13
The Panthers started the second quarter with a big third down play. They were unable to convert after Bridgewater was sacked by Khalil Mack which forced the Panthers to punt.
The Bears drove down the field efficiently but the Panthers defense came up big with a stop on third down to force the Bears to kick a field goal and only extend their lead by three points. Keeping the Bears out of the end zone and keeping the Panthers within one score was a win for the Panthers defense with 8:09 left in the quarter.
The Panthers offense drove down the field and had a chance to tie the game in the closing moments of the half. Keith Kirkwood took a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit from Kyle Fuller that gave the Panthers a first down from the Bears 13-yard line. The Panthers were in a huge fourth-and-2 situation from inside the Bears 10-yard line and Bridgewater managed to get the defense to jump offside to set up a first-and-goal situation for the offense. The Panthers were unable to punch it into the end zone, however, and had to settle for another field goal to cut the Bears lead to four points with two minutes left in the half.
The Panthers defense did a good job keeping the Bears out of the end zone on their final drive of the half, but a Tre Boston dropped interception gave them the chance to extend their lead to seven points with a Cairo Santos field goal as time expired.
First quarter: Panthers 3 - Bears 7
The Panthers started on offense after the Bears won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Panthers had to start the drive at their own 10-yard line after an illegal double team block penalty on Pharoh Cooper’s kick return.
The Panthers first three plays were a Mike Davis run for a 1-yard loss, a sack on Teddy Bridgewater inside the 1-yard line and an interception that was returned to the Panthers’ 7-yard line by the Bears. It was not an ideal start for Carolina.
The Bears took advantage of the turnover and scored the game’s first touchdown to take an early lead over the Panthers with 11:40 left in the quarter.
The Panthers started their second drive with a false start, but had their first big play on the next play when Bridgewater hit DJ Moore for a big 27-yard gain. The Panthers drove down the field efficiently but stalled in the red zone against the Bears’ No. 1 rated red zone defense and had to settle for a field goal to cut the lead to four points with 5:08 left in the quarter.
The defense did their job by keeping the Bears offense from doing more damage and got the ball back for the offense with 1:15 left in the quarter. The Panthers offense took over but were unable to score before time ran out on the first quarter of the game.
Game day information
What: Carolina Panthers vs Chicago Bears
When: Sunday, October 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)
TV: FOX; Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma (coverage map)
Streaming: FuboTV, FOX Sports Live (tv login req.), Yahoo! Sports, Panthers mobile app
Radio: Panthers radio (local); Mick Mixon
Spanish Radio: Panthers radio (local); Jaime Moreno, Antonio Ramos
Weather: 68° / Mostly Sunny / 3 mph NE wind / 10% rain (complete forecast)
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