Panthers defense leads them to 17-5 halftime lead

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The Panthers continue to play defense as well as anyone in the league, and they’re getting just enough offense to get by.

The Panthers lead 17-5 over the Rams at halftime, continuing a run of stout play from the league’s third-ranked defense (second in points allowed).

The Rams have put together some promising moments of offense, but have cracked at the wrong moments. From being stopped on a fourth-and-goal from the 1, or a penalty on left tackle Jake Long that negated a Tavon Austin touchdown reception, they’ve been inopportune.

The Panthers picked up a Mike Tolbert touchdown in the second quarter, but have been outgained by the Rams 180-143 in the first half.