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December 23, 2012

Panthers beat Raiders 17-6 for third straight win


  By Ron Green Jr.


  After three years, the Panthers have won three in a row again.

   Continuing their late-season success, the Panthers ground out a 17-6 victory over Oakland Sunday in Bank of America Stadium.

   It's the first time since the final three games of the 2009 season that the Panthers have won three games in a row.

   The Panthers (6-9) will close their season next Sunday at New Orleans with a chance to improve their record from a season ago.

   "Better late than never," tight end Greg Olsen said.

   In a game dominated by defense and six personal foul penalties, the Panthers gained just 274 total yards but relied on their defense to shut down the Raiders. Oakland gained just 189 yards.

   Cam Newton completed 18 of 29 passes for 170 yards while also rushing for 61 yards.

   "It was one of those games where you had to have a gutty performance," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We made the plays when we had to at points to win the football game. The defense was outstanding, did some really good things."

   Kicker Graham Gano nailed a 51-yard field goal with 2:46 remaining to push the Panthers to an 11-point lead after the Raiders exhausted their second-half timeouts. Gano had earlier missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.

   Newton accounted for a pair of touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 14-3 halftime lead.

   Newton scrambled for a 3-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds left in the half after rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart with 1:21 remaining.

    Leinart was playing in place of starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who left with an injury to the ribs after a hard hit by defensive end Greg Hardy – one of four personal foul penalties called on the teams for either roughing the passer or hitting the head of a defenseless receiver.

   The Panthers failed to score on their opening possession after scoring touchdowns on their first drive in their four previous games. On the second play of the game, DeAngelo Williams went around left end for an apparent 76-yard touchdown run.

   But wideout Steve Smith was called for holding, negating the score.

   Smith made up for it on the next drive with catches on consecutive plays – a 16-yarder over the middle and a 23-yard touchdown along the right sideline that put the Panthers up 7-0 with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

   Sebastian Janikowski's 21-yard field goal cut the Panthers' lead to 7-3 with 6:25 remaining in the first half.

    Newton completed 13 of 19 passes for 142 yards in the first half and extended to his team-record streak of passes without an interception to 171.

   The streak ended when Newton was intercepted on the final play of the third quarter when Oakland's Philip Wheeler deflected a pass and linebacker Miles Burris intercepted it and returned it to the Carolina 14-yard line. Newton threw 176 consecutive passes without an interception.

   The Raiders converted the turnover into a 31-yard Janikowski field goal, cutting the Panthers' lead to 14-6 with 13:18 remaining.


Posted by Observer Sports on December 23, 2012 at 03:59 PM | Permalink


That was real ugly. After the 1st qtr, Cam reverted back to his early season form and worse. He was awful. Couldn't throw anything accurate and acted like a 14 year old. Too bad he didn't get ejected for bumping the ref (I don't blame him for being upset about the late hit, but he needs to act like a man). Rivera should have pulled him from the game anyway. The only worse performance was by the refs - what planet were they on? They obviously didn't realize this was supposed to be football, where they are supposed to hit people!

Posted by: WayneD | Dec 23, 2012 4:30:13 PM

You are joking right? Cam getting pulled? He should havebelted that ref Jerome Boger let Cam get hit late and just stood there like a numbnuts blowing another call. If we had a coach who was worth a d@mn he would have been out there in Blowger's face but Rivera is a lame duck chumpstain.
Glad we won but Rivera needs to be fired this is a horrible coaching staff. We have not improved at all this year.

Posted by: manu4t | Dec 23, 2012 5:10:44 PM

We haven't improved at all? We have won 3 straight for the first time in 3 years. Our team is much improved from earlier in the season, and say what you want about Rivera's clock management and decision making, but he has had this team ready to play each game down the stretch.

Posted by: bigjohn | Dec 23, 2012 5:19:57 PM

Manu4t - no, I'm not kidding. I agree with you about the ref totally blowing the call - that hit on Cam was too much too late ; no doubt it should have been a unnecessary roughness call. But my point is that even though Cam was justified in being upset, he needs to stop with the childish hissy fits (exhibit #1 - that earlier kicking incident). He may be the most important player on the team, but he needs to understand that he is not the ONLY player on the team. He's supposed to be a leader, but that kind of behaviour does not lead to anything good. Even worse is that his little crybaby fits affected him to the point where he couldn't even throw a decent pass any more. Bottom line - as Cam goes, so go the Panthers, and as long as he acts like that (and they face real NFL QB's, not Leinart), they won't have any success.

Posted by: WayneD | Dec 23, 2012 5:47:35 PM

I have to agree with Wayne on most of his post. Yes, it was a bad non-call. Look at the way Kuechly reacted to the bogus penalty called on him - he didn't blow up at the ref, he just dominated the Raiders the rest of the way. There were several bad calls and non-calls today but the one on Luke had to be the worst of the game.

Posted by: CBC | Dec 23, 2012 6:07:29 PM

@manu4T....what are you talking about? Last year we were totally inept on defense, about 30th in the league, and after today we'llmend up around 8th! That's quite an improvement. Our offense has slipped a bit, from 7th to about 14th now, but some of tha can be accounted with our patchwork O-line and defenses figuring Chud and Cam out a bit, but even that has improved the 2nd half of the season. RR deserves one more year to get us in the playoffs. 2 years is not enough for anyone who wasn't previously a head coach. He's made his mistakes, but has learned from them and the progress is becoming more evident, but most of all, the players respect him....which is more important than being liked, which the players do as we'll.

Posted by: David Crabb | Dec 23, 2012 7:06:58 PM

Y'all did see the d linemen jam cams knee into the turf while he was on top of him...go back and look

Posted by: freeze8575 | Dec 23, 2012 7:09:02 PM

I know this has nothing to do with this post, but does anyone know what happened with Josh Norman? He was pulled from the field in the middle of a game a few games ago, I haven't seen or heard of him since. What happened ??

Posted by: WayneD | Dec 23, 2012 8:05:08 PM

WayneD, from what I've read Norman is not sure what he did. And as usual, we're not being informed by the team.

Posted by: Dominic Frangitelli | Dec 23, 2012 9:21:28 PM

A nice litte no-pressure, bad-opponent winning streak is no indication of success. Note that the last time they pulled it off the opponents had wrapped up their playoff spots and rested their stars (Saints come to mind), or were horrible and out of contention.
My pooint: When BOTH teams try to win the games - i.e., early in a season when each game is still meaningful - the panthers STINK. They have been 2-8 after ten games each of the last two years. Terrible. Rivera is over his head, and needs to go, period. None of this - "ooh, ooh, we are building momentum for next year" THIS YEAR is the only one that matters, and the staff and roster get a big fat "F" for 2012. Good day.

Posted by: Davey Sprocket | Dec 27, 2012 12:20:33 AM

Man o man that switch from Hue Jackson whom had the raiders competing withe his hands tied behind his back by big Al's dinosaur defense to Dennis nobody.... Simply Brilliant!!!!

Posted by: Thursday Night Football | Dec 31, 2012 6:37:24 AM

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