|Panthers Win in Overtime|
THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN AFTER
MY HEART STARTED BEATING AGAIN
Carolina Panthers fans were given much more than they bargained-- or asked --for on Monday night-- more ballgame and more breathtaking action as the Indianapolis Colts came back from a 17--point deficit to send the game into overtime.
The Panthers looked invincible for three quarters, their defense holding the Colts to only six points on two field goals, while the offense racked up 23 points on three touchdowns and a field goal. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Panthers held a comfortable 23--6 lead, and it appeared as though they would coast to an easy victory.
But things soon changed dramatically and unexpectedly. The momentum suddenly shifted in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defense, which had kept the Colts out of the end zone, suddenly loosened up and became less stingy, allowing two long drives. The Colts offense, which seemed hapless and lifeless until then, seemed to ignite and take control of the game, scoring two touchdowns and then kicking a last second field goal to force the extra period.
The overtime period was a heartstopper, as both teams had opportunities to pull out the win. In the end, Carolina made the bigger plays when they counted to force the outcome, beating the Colts by 29--26..
This game was also a showcase of redemption for several Panthers players.
- WR Ted Ginn, Jr. missed a perfectly thrown, wide open pass from QB Cam Newton that should have been the winning touchdown, but later caught a first-down pass that helped get the Panthers into field goal position to tie the game during the first overtime period---
- LB Luke Kuechly missed making an end zone interception which would have also sealed a win, but later collaborated with S Roman Harper to make an interception to halt a Colts drive and put the Panthers in position for the winning field goal---
- K Graham Gano, who missed a crucial extra point which proved to be a deciding factor in the game going to overtime, also ended up kicking the winning 52-yard field goal.
The Panthers came out of a hard fought, imperfect game with a perfect 7--0 record -- another first in the history of the Carolina Panthers franchise. The team will enjoy this victory for a day or two, but will soon be allowed to look forward to hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, who lost to Denver on Sunday night and are now 6--1. With a win over the Pack, the Panthers could go up two games over BOTH the Packers and Falcons in the NFC playoff race and be on the road to a top berth and first round bye in the NFC Playoffs.
Next Game : Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday Nov. 8 --- 1:00 pm EST