Rapid Reactions: Panthers can't complete comeback, fall to Bears 23-16
CHARLOTTE — Though they fought back from a slow start, the Panthers could not get the score they needed to tie the game in the fourth quarter, falling to the Bears, 23-16.
Tight end Chris Manhertz was flagged for an illegal double team block, putting the Panthers at their 10-yard line. After running back Mike Davis got stuffed up the middle on first down, Bridgewater got sacked for the first time in two weeks at the 1-yard line. It got worse from there, as Bridgewater's third down pass was tipped by cornerback Jaylon Johnson and intercepted by safety Tashaun Gipson.
On their second drive, the Panthers drove to Chicago's 17 and got a first down after a Bridgewater 3-yard scramble to the 7. But the Bears tightened up coverage from there, leaving Bridgewater with no one open on third-and-goal from the 6. Though the QB scrambled for 3 yards, Carolina had to settle for a 21-yard field goal.
It was a similar story later in the first half when Bridgewater induced a neutral-zone infraction with a hard count to give Carolina a first down at Chicago's 3. But Davis got stuffed on first down, and Bridgewater's read-option was stopped for a 1-yard gain on second down. On third down, Bridgewater was heavily pressured and fired incomplete to wide receiver DJ Moore in the end zone.
In total, Carolina ran 12 plays inside the red zone in the first half and got just six points out of it. Davis' rushes went for only ...
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