The Panthers returned home for a Week 5 matchup with the Eagles and hoped to put their Week 4 loss to the Cowboys behind them with a return to their winning ways.
Spoiler alert: That’s not what happened.
This was one of the ugliest football games I’ve ever seen the Panthers play. They jumped out to a 15-6 lead at halftime, but left too many points on the table throughout the entire game. The third quarter was the usual for Carolina: a complete and total shit show where the Panthers couldn’t get anything done on offense or defense, and the Eagles took the lead late in the game and Sam Darnold did his best Teddy Bridgewater impression by failing to lead the offense to a comeback victory.
The Panthers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against an inferior opponent and fell to 3-2 on the season. The coaching staff need to take the tape from this game, toss it in a barrel and set it on fire so they can move on and focus on the Vikings game next week.
I don’t really know what else to say. This game sucked, and the Panthers lost a game they should have won. Everyone deserves to feel bad for this one, and hopefully they can put this behind them and turn things around before it’s too late.
If you’re the kind of person who likes horror stories, you can read a more detailed recap of the game below, broken down by quarter.
The Panthers controlled the action on both sides of the ball for most of the first quarter. Sam Darnold made one poor decision — an ill-advised throw that was picked off deep in Panthers territory — and other than that one mistake the offense moved the ball well. The defense did a good job of containing the Eagles’ offense — and held them to a field goal on their one short-field drive — and the Panthers offense put up 10 points of their own to take a 10-3 lead into the second quarter.
The Panthers maintained control in the second quarter and put more points on the board — another Zane Gonzalez field goal and a safety on defense — to extend their lead. The Eagles looked putrid on offense — thanks largely to the effort by the Panthers defense to contain them — but managed to scrape together a drive in the last minute of the half to put a field goal on the board and close the gap to 15-6 at the break.
The third quarter woes continued for the Panthers again this week as they squandered multiple opportunities to put the game out of reach for the Eagles. To make matters worse, the defense allowed the Eagles offense to drive down the field and put a touchdown on the board to pull to within two points. The Panthers turned an easy win into a nail biter by failing to execute on multiple drives, and headed into the fourth quarter with a 15-13 lead.
The Panthers added three more points to their lead in the fourth quarter, but the defense melted down at the worst possible time and allowed the Eagles to take a 21-18 lead — their first lead of the game — with just over two minutes left in regulation. Trailing for the first time, the Panthers offense failed to get anything going after Darnold threw his third interception of the game on first-and-20. The Eagles managed to run out the rest of the game clock — despite the Panthers still having all three timeouts — to seal a comeback win.