Defenses dictating early in Rams-Panthers

AP

Points might be hard to come by in Charlotte today, so the Panthers made sure to get theirs early.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was picked off by Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn on the opening drive, and Munnerlyn returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.

That was only the beginning of what looks like a good day for the Panthers defense.

They brought pressure on a fourth-and-goal attempt by the Rams, forcing Bradford to throw the ball away to hang onto the lead after a long drive.

But the Rams followed by stopping Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert for a safety on the ensuing play,  making it 7-2 in a wild first quarter.