The Carolina Panthers scored in every facet of the game on Sunday as they pinned a 35-27 defeat on the New York Jets. It was a comeback victory that was highlighted by touchdowns on special teams, the defense, and the offense.
Luke Kuechly returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown and Kaelin Clay had a 60-yard punt return for a score. The touchdowns capped off a stunning swing in the fourth quarter that lifted Carolina to the eight point win.
It was the fourth straight victory for the Panthers (8-3), who caught the New Orleans Saints atop the NFC South standings. The teams meet next Sunday at New Orleans.
The Panthers comeback was as quick as it was decisive. Two minutes and 11 seconds as a matter of fact. This one turned in a span of 2 minutes, 11 seconds on mistakes by the Jets.
First, Kuechly scooped up a fumble by Jets quarterback Josh McCown, who was sacked by Wes Horton and had the ball knocked out of his hand as he was about to throw, and rumbled to the endzone.
Cam Newton then hurdled over linebacker Jordan Jenkins for the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers a 26-20 lead with 12:05 left.
After New York’s next drive stalled, the Jets were forced to punt. Clay fielded Lachlan Edwards’ kick and eluded a tackle before shooting into the endzone. Newton’s pass on the 2-point conversion fell short, but Carolina was suddenly up 32-20 with 9:54 remaining.
Carolina needed points in all areas of the game as Newton struggled throughout the contest. He finished 11 of 28 throwing the ball for just 168 yards.
Will Eli Be Coming To Another Town
For the first time in 13 years, Eli Manning will not start for the New York Giants.
Manning, one of just a dozen quarterbacks to win two or more Super Bowls, has been benched in the middle of very disappointing season and will be replaced by Geno Smith.
The ramifications of this decision have yet to be determined. I say that because the decision does not make sense and is disrespectful to Manning. Head Coach Ben McAdoo stated that he feels the 2-9 Giants have a better chance to win with Geno Smith. You must be kidding me. Smith has had multiple chances with the New York Jets and still has tossed more interceptions than touchdowns.
Does this mean Eli will not be wearing Giants Blue next season? Manning has made a career out of saying he wants to end his career as a Giant. Hearing that, it is hard seeing him with another franchise though virtually any team at this point would be an improvement.
I think I, and you know Eli is thinking this, could maybe understand letting the team’s rookie quarterback, Davis Webb, finish the season. This would let the Giants know if Webb has a future. But Geno Smith. A streak of 210 consecutive starts is coming to an end for Geno Smith?
Eli deserved better.
Blaming Manning for the Giants’ lost season is a reach. He has spent much of it without his two top wide receivers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, both of whom were lost to severe injuries, and the defense has allowed the second-most yards in the NFL.
I’ll say it again. Eli deserved better.
Tar Heels Struggle
It is not that North Carolina lost to Michigan State on the hardwood last week that likely has UNC followers a bit nervous. It is how they lost.
The defending national champions got blown out and the nation saw that this year’s Tar Heels team may have trouble scoring.
Michigan State made history by upending UNC, 64-45. The history that was made was that the Spartans held the Tar Heels to all-time lows of 24.6 percent field-goal shooting and 5.6 percent from the 3-point line. UNC fans can take solace in that this is still November basketball.