News now! Panthers take 27-7 lead into halftime

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 8, 2015 – 1:31 pm

151108-q2-in-game-updates-650CHARLOTTE — Carolina continued to strike for big plays in scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 27-7 lead into halftime on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The Panthers took the lead back on their first possession of the second quarter. Packers LB Nick Perry tackled WR Corey Brown for a 12-yard loss on an end-around, leading to a third-and-16 in Carolina territory. But Green Bay lost track of WR Jerricho Cotchery in coverage, and his 59-yard catch-and-run put the Panthers in the red zone. A 14-yard run by RB Jonathan Stewart was followed by a 1-yard plunge by QB Cam Newton for a 10-7 Carolina lead.

The Panthers extended that lead right away. After the Packers went three-and-out, mostly thanks to a holding penalty on first down, Newton went deep on the first play of the next drive, hitting WR Devin Funchess for a 52-yard completion with Packers CB Damarious Randall in coverage. Two plays later, Newton found TE Greg Olsen for a 7-yard TD, and it was 17-7 Panthers with 8:55 left in the half.

The Packers’ offensive struggles continued with another three-and-out. A deep ball to WR Randall Cobb on second down was just out of his reach. On the punt, rookie CB LaDarius Gunter was called for a facemask penalty, giving the Panthers the ball at their own 48-yard line to start.

Carolina picked up just one first down, on a 16-yard pass to Cotchery, but it was enough to add a 49-yard FG by K Graham Gano. Newton missed a wide open Olsen for a potential TD a couple of plays earlier, but the Panthers still pushed their lead to 20-7.

The Panthers got the ball right back, too. Packers RB Eddie Lacy fumbled on second down and Carolina recovered at the Green Bay 24-yard line. The Packers defense held, however, and Gano missed a 43-yard FG try wide left, keeping the score 20-7.

The Packers did nothing with the reprieve, though, as Rodgers was sacked on third down for another three-and-out. A poor punt gave the Panthers the ball near midfield and they took advantage, as Newton went up top to Brown for a 39-yard TD over CB Demetri Goodson on third-and-7, making it 27-7 with 41 seconds left in the half.

On their final drive of the half, Rodgers completed passes of 21 yards to WR James Jones and 18 yards to WR Randall Cobb, putting the ball on the Carolina 41 with 19 seconds left. Rodgers was sacked by LB Thomas Davis, though, and a long heave down the field was caught by WR Davante Adams inside the 10-yard line, but the Packers had no timeouts left and the clock ran out.


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