Cam Newton, Panthers absolutely butcher end of first half
The Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton put on a clinic of what NOT to do at the end of a half.
The Panthers’ defense gave the offense a gift when James Bradberry intercepted Drew Brees with 1:46 left in the half on Monday night. Carolina got the ball at the New Orleans 42 and seemed like a near lock to at least get three points out of the turnover.
Instead, the Panthers could not have executed worse as they ended up without any points.
Carolina ran a reverse to Curtis Samuel, who gained six yards and was tackled inbounds instead of getting out, forcing them to use a timeout. Next the Panthers ran a quarterback draw and Newton rushed for a first down with some nice moves. But he spent time taunting the Saints afterwards and wasted about 10 seconds before calling a timeout. On their next play, Christian McCaffrey took a pass 7 yards and at least went out of bounds to stop the clock.
For a finale, Newton tried for Devin Funchess on a fade pattern in the end zone, but Eli Apple had inside position and got an easy interception.
The Saints gave the Panthers a gift, and Carolina turned it into nothing. That’s how teams knock themselves out of the playoff race.