Week 11: Carolina Panthers 24, New England Patriots 20- Post Game Thoughts

The Carolina Panthers take the cake at home over the New England Patriots.  Obviously the ending of the game was pretty controversial, what with the non-call, however the Pats had their fair share of opportunities to put the Panthers away before it got to that point.  For instance, there was a Stevan Ridley fumble in the red zone in the first half that really hurt this team.  Also, there was a 3rd and 1 later on in the fourth quarter at the Carolina eight yard line where Josh McDaniels decided to throw the ball instead of run it.  The pass fell incomplete and the Patriots kicked a field goal, allowing Cam Newton and the Panthers to drive down the field for the game-winning touchdown.  So even though many New England fans feel like their team may have gotten hosed at the end with the non-call, I say they could have won the game well before it ever got to that point.  In case you didn’t see or hear about the play, what happened was with three seconds left in the game, Tom Brady threw the ball to Rob Gronkowski in the end zone.  Luke Kuechly was in coverage and basically ran Gronk out of the back of the end zone.  The back judge threw a flag for pass interference, but then picked it back up and the game ended without it being called.  To me, this was a miss by the officials, but even worse is the fact that they didn’t provide any description as to why the flag was picked back up.  Anyways, a win is a win for the Panthers and no matter how it happened, beating the New England Patriots in November looks good for a team’s track record.  Carolina proved that they could hang with anybody in this game, which shows that their 7-3 record is legitimate.  It was refreshing to see Cam Newton drive the ball down the field to take the lead late in a game during prime time.  That is a huge step for the youngster and if he can consistently do this, the Panthers will be good for a while.  New England now draws the Broncos at home.  Boy, talk about a tough task to face coming off of a short, controversy-filled week.

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