The Panthers don’t have to worry about people talking about the Super Bowl hangover anymore, since their fans have moved onto drowning their sorrows over the 2016 team.
The Saints dropped the Panthers to 1-5 with a 41-38 win Sunday, with kicker Will Lutz’s 52-yard field goal with 11 seconds left capping a ridiculous game from both sides.
The Panthers came back from a 21-0 deficit but can’t play defense at all, allowing Drew Brees to throw for 465 yards and four touchdowns. It’s the second-most passing yards allowed in a game in franchise history, behind the 503 Matt Ryan hung on them earlier this season.
But the breakdowns today for the Panthers went beyond the secondary. They were close to tying the game earlier in the fourth quarter, before Graham Gano missed an extra point which left them down 31-30. Gano also missed a potential game-winning field goal in the opener at Denver (which they lost 21-20), a game which could have changed the course of the entire season.
Now, the Panthers look like a real mess.
When third-round cornerback Daryl Worley left the game in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion, it left the Panthers with just three healthy cornerbacks, and two of them were on the practice squad two weeks ago. Starters James Bradberry and Robert McClain were inactive with injuries, and of course Josh Norman is in Washington.
But the Saints are just as much of a mess as the Panthers, and let the Panthers come back and tie the game 38-38 on a Cam Newton touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
But the Panthers couldn’t stop them at from getting into position for the game-winner, and Lutz recovered from missing a 53-yarder earlier in the day to deliver the win which moved them to 2-3.