Panthers come back for 24-20 win over Patriots

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It took them nearly 10 years, but the Panthers finally beat the Patriots in a Super Bowl.

The Panthers won their sixth straight with an impressive fourth-quarter comeback, beating a near-flawless Tom Brady and the Patriots 24-20.

It was a signature win, even for a team that beat San Francisco on the road last week, part of a remarkable turnaround from a 1-3 start.

And while they only have two players left from the team that lost Super Bowl XXXVIII (left tackle Jordan Gross and wide receiver Steve Smith), the Panthers might not have had a bigger game since then.

After the Patriots took the lead with a field goal, Cam Newton directed a 13-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, hitting Ted Ginn Jr. for the game-winning touchdown with 59 seconds left.

Then they had to withstand Brady with timeouts and the ball and the clock ticking. Their final play was not without controversy, as a flag was thrown on the final pass into the end zone, which rookie safety Robert Lester intercepted. Brady was screaming at officials on his way through the tunnel, upset that the flag was picked up despite the fact Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was tackling Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone.

The win moves the Panthers to 7-3, and puts them in the thick of the division title race.

95 responses to “Panthers come back for 24-20 win over Patriots

  1. The ball was catchable. Gronk could not adjust to the ball with a man in his face, face guarding him. Good call throwing the flag. Flag was picked up to help a struggling franchise sell tickets.

  2. It took them nearly 10 years, but the Panthers finally beat the Patriots in a Super Bowl.

    OK… This was not even close to a Super Bowl?

  3. Easily could have called P.I. but I doubt Gronk catches that anyways. Besides It’s been said a million times before, NFL games are not won/lost on 1 play.

    Good win for Carolina which is starting to look like a potentially very dangerous playoff team

  4. OK Godel, you saw your poster child boy Brady running after the officials the great sportsman he is. Going after the official got that, classless.

  5. That call at the end should take some heat of the saints 9ers call lol. Now THAT was some bull. As well as the explanation. So you tell me that you can PI a guy as long as you intercept the ball?

  6. The strategy was to take an interference if they had to and try and hold them off for one play at the one yard line.

    No explanation given for the call. The officials ran off like cowards. Last time this happened in Baltimore last year Belichick tried to get an explanation and was fined for grabbing the officials arm to get his attention in the aftermath.

    Wunna funna gunna do?

  7. Not a fan of either team, but how would they determine that the ball is uncatchable if the receiver is being held and can’t come back towards the ball? Not too sure of the rules, but shouldn’t there have been a flag for holding Gronk?

  8. It wasn’t a great throw by Brady. Even if Keuchly had kept his hands off of Gronk, it likely would’ve been picked off at worst, batted away at best.

    Still, you hate to see a great game end on an iffy call. And this was just that: a great game.

  9. The headline might as well include “Let the Hating Begin.” I bet barely any of these comments have to do with the actual game, just haters finally getting a chance to talk. All comments will be outrageous and make no sense to anyone but the haters. Haha

    Great game Cam is the real deal! Even as a Pats fan I give him credit for pulling off a Houdini act on those 3rd down scrambles. Not so sure about that final call though, Gronk doesn’t have a chance go catch it because he’s getting near hugged in the end zone. That’s a bad call.

  10. “the fact Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was tackling Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone”

    OH, the ball was intercepted. So Kuechly could have ripped Gronk’s helmet off and beat him with it and the game still would have ended. OK

  11. Tom Brady crying like usual at the end. The announcing and bias of tirico and gruden on Brady and the Pats was downright embarrassing. Espn at least try to be a little neutral and objective. It was literally a 3 hour lovefest for Brady and tirico and gruden calling for the penalty at the end. Their whining was worse than Brady’s.

  12. A great game to watch, and congratulations to Cam and the Panthers on a great win.

    On the other hand, since the Patriots lost a controversial game..all hell is going to break loose on ESPN and Sportscenter for the next 3 days…

  13. Good game by both teams.

    If the Patriots offense would play during the entire game with the same urgency they played at the end of the game maybe the argument at the end wouldn’t occur.

  14. This was a statement win for our team. We have the best defense in the NFL. Hands down. And let’s not let the last play understate what a great game that was.

    The NFC South is still for the taking. Weeks ago we were talking about the Saints running away with it. Saints have ATL and SEA in the next 2 weeks before they play us. They could lose both games (They will NOT win both).

  15. What the hell is going on with referees in this league? The “non” pass-interference call that was actually called and then picked up was a total injustice. I’m not a fan of either team, so this isn’t an issue of rooting for the Pats over the Cats. It’s just a football fan feeling that the game is once again interfered with by idiots running around in stripes with whistles in their mouths. There should definitely be discipline for the refs responsible for overruling the call. It’s time for referee suspensions and fines. This is getting ridiculous!

  16. I hate the Pats and Brady, but that was BLATANT pass interference on Kuechly in the end zone on the last play. The reason it was an uncatchable ball is cuz Kuechly practically tackled Gronk away from the pass preventing him from having any chance to come back to the ball. The back ref saw it and flagged it and then was talked out of making the call cuz refs don’t want to be in a position to decide games, but the no call did exactly that.

  17. Great game. Hope something similar is the Super Bowl. That was intense. Also, for anyone still holding out, Brady is the greatest of his generation. What he nearly pulled off there is something special that resides in him. When he retires, we will be watching one of the top 2 or 3 hang it up.

  18. holding is “holding”. It doesn’t matter where the ball goes. Brady could have been sacked on that play and it’s still Defensive holding in the end zone.
    That end zone shot of Gronk getting bear hugged by Kuechly – classic.

  19. Cam Newton looked nervous, like he was gonna vomit ala Donovan McNabb before scoring that TD, which looked just like Kaepernick/Crabtree last year…..

    Brady took the high road in the interviews post game….

    Calls like this make it hard to not thing there is something else going on in the NFL…. My guess is there was a lot of money to be lost if the Pats scored a TD there…..

  20. Cam and the Panthers played a great game. It’s a shame that a bad call will ruin it for them (and it was a bad call).

  21. The league office must have called down to the field and instructed the ump to pick the flag up. Curious non-call as Gronk was absolutely molested on that play.

  22. I used to get pissed when the refs blew a game with a bogus call. Now I just expect it to happen. Just another nail in the coffin that Goodell is making for the nfl.

  23. Can’t wait to hear all of the whiney Pats fans scream about how the refs won the game… Cam did work to put us up, defense played lights out and the refs made some crap calls against us early in the game. Plus the contact with Gronk wouldn’t have affected the play anyways. The all powerful Brady underthrew him leading to the pick. Great game Panthers! You earned it!

  24. I can’t stand the arrogance of Belichick and Brady is one of the biggest whiners in the league. That said, how can there be no call for interference or holding on Gronk???

  25. Really a great football game all around. Panthers proved they’re legit, but no shame for the Pats losing on the road against a 6-3 team after fighting back from an early deficit. Tip my cap to Carolina. Maybe we’ll see you in New Jersey in a few months.

  26. I don’t normally think about refs fixing games, but the spread was 3 and the Panthers won by 4. Picking up that flag at the end of the game made no sense at all.

  27. I was rooting for the Panthers, but how was that not pass interference against them on the final play of the game? It was obvious Gronkowski was mauled by the guy covering him and the official threw the flag. So what made him pick it up and say there was no foul when clearly there was?

  28. Haters gonna hate…but a win is a win. The interpretation of the rule on pass interference is confusing to me, at least on that last play, but I’m glad the Panthers won.

  29. The Panthers are a great team…super solid D and Cam is definitely an electrifying player.

    That said, it was ridiculous to waive off a flag thrown by the official five feet away. Gronkowski was pushed away from the pass and
    the “expert analysis” was pathetic. He had no chance at the ball because he was completely prevented from going back to it.

  30. This is getting pathedic with these calls by the refs against the Pats. That’s two games stolen late in games. The first was admitted to be an incorrect call by the NFL.

  31. Pass was never going to be caught. Lester was in position for that interception regardless of what happened to Gronk. That said, it was most definitely a penalty. Either PI or holding…both it was something. Guess the football Gods turned on Brady? He usually gets these calls. Possibly karma for “the tuck rule” play? Either way…good game.

  32. Brady was screaming “don’t you know who we are? We get those calls all the time, that’s how we sustain drives!!!” Really, I have no horse in this race and I thought that was a great flag pick up. The ball was going to be picked off regardless and the ‘interference’ was inconsequential as it was simultaneous with the ball being picked. These PI calls are out of control sometimes and the zebras got it right.

  33. One comment here, and this goes out to every NFL team. Before the game, they had a group of Airborne soldiers do the National Anthem. The cameras panned the sidelines and showed many players looking down or with their eyes closed, such as Cam Newton did.
    I am sick and tired of athletes — who make millions because they are fortunate enough to live in this country — not respecting our country and the flag, especially when there are soldiers on the field singing the National Anthem.
    My dad was a Pearl Harbor survivor and he fought the Japanese in Guadalcanal. He lost his hearing in the war, and spent 4 months in a hospital when he came home because of “battle fatigue”. He knew what it meant to live in this great country and what that flag meant. These spoiled brats who play professional sports don’t have a clue and they all should be called out for not showing the flag the respect it deserves. You are supposed to put your hand over your heart and face the flag, not look down as Tom Brady was doing or close your eyes as Cam Newton was doing. I go to Army home games and those players understand what that flag means and show it the proper respect. So should these rich, spoiled NFL players.

  34. Hahahahahahaha how many times are you gonna go with that “super bowl” line Gantt? How many super bowls do we get to play this year.

    Nope. That wasn’t it either. That was just the insanely clutch Cam Newton leading his team to a great win.

  35. Both teams played a great game whoever lost would feel aggrieved. That is the type of game I think most fans want to see, not this Arena ball stuff that seems to get worse by the week. Good win Panthers, good game Patriots!

  36. Nice win, but please take it one step at a time here…..still a ways to go. Cam “head case” will come back to earth at the worse time for Panther fans aka in the playoffs, thinking maybe divisional round at tops. Sick bowtie in the postgame interview Newton NOPE!

  37. I speak of ill of the Patriots from time to time, but I’m a little angry about the last play just from a “if that was my favorite team I’d hurt someone” standpoint.

    If there is .03 seconds left, and you bear hug the receiver you know the ball is intended for, Brady has no where else to throw since times out, but a flag is thrown. Pass interference is pass interference at any time in the game. Spin it anyway you want, but come on.. give them a break..

    Gronk could of came back towards the ball. Possibly. But possibly should be enough. At any time of game on pass interference, or else you should just bear hug all receivers with seconds left in any game.

  38. Controversial or not a win is a win is a win…its about time New England got a crap call. If anything they can pout about it while they watch their spygate tape tomorrow…

  39. I have no love lost for the Patriots, but MY GOD that was blatant. Did they have CAR -3 and the under? How do you make that call, and then completely (and inaccurately) blow the explanation on the field and in the booth? (Gerry Austin should be ashamed).

  40. On the last series at the end of the game, the Patriots had the ball on their own 20 yardline with 59 seconds on the clock. They were able to run 12 plays, four of which were completed passes that were downed in bounds. They used 3 time outs. With those plays (and a 10 yd. penalty) they moved the ball 62 yards to the Panther’s 18 yardline and still had 3 seconds left on the clock. This calculates out to less than 5 seconds per play and seems like very generous clock management by the officials. And I’m not a Panthers fan.

  41. OK, let’s start the ‘choke artist’ assassination by the media and the fans.

    Oh wait, this is media darling Tom Brady, not Tony Romo. No way is anyone going to criticise Brady even if he did throw an interception in the end zone with a chance to win the game…

  42. The patriots got beat by the better team last night. I don’t know if you all watched the same play that I did last night but there’s no way Gronk was catching that ball even if Luke didn’t hug him.. Just because the official threw a flag is why this is being blown up. Panthers won. Tom bill and the rest of the Brady bunch got out played, END OF STORY.

  43. I look at the last play the same way we look at the Brooks sack. By the letter of the rule, Brooks sack was a hit to the head. I saw Peppers hit the QB in their game the same way, a little more to the head, and no call was made. By the letter of the rule, the play last night was called right. If Brady could have hit Kuechly, then PI would have been called. But with someone at his feet, he wasn’t able to get enough on the ball to get it to the back of the end zone. Even if Gronk could have made a play on it, I still think the Panther’s could have knocked the ball down, everyone in the stadium knew who the ball was going to be thrown to.
    Personally as a Panther’s fan, I would not have been upset if a flag for illegal contact or holding would have been thrown, but that was up to the ref that threw the flag who picked up the flag himself, as he knew the rule and didn’t need it explained by the head ref.

  44. Ahhh yes the “hey you had the tuck rule so karma is a beeotch” comments are trolling today. Awesome. How about this penalty that happened and not the past? But bare in mind that the refs were basically assuming that Gronkowski could not have mad that play. Remind me to call up the refs for the winning power ball numbers since they can see the future before anyone else and determine what the outcome is going to be. If it is a penalty then it is a penalty. I do not care if it happens in the 1st, 2nd or 4th quarter of a game for any team. If you hold a player in the endzone even if that player is on the other side of the endzone it’s still an infraction plain in simple. You throw the flag, live by it. Don’t pick it up and leave especially not giving the team an explanation. If they were so confident in their final decision, then why leave so quickly without explaining to them why the call resulted in a no penalty call? To the people who say that Gronkowski was complaining, what should he say? “Great call by the refs tonight, I wasn’t being held, he was just giving me a big hug”? Was the ball underthrown? yes, but it still does not negate the fact that it was a penalty either way. Either way, it was a great game to watch but sad that it had to end the way that it did. The Panthers played a great game. Watch out for Cam Newton because he will continue to excel in this league on his way to being an elite quarterback. They made more plays than the Pats did and their defense stepped up when they needed to. Great win for Carolina and I am a Pats fan. One more thing to the haters, to bash Brady for showing is competitive edge is classless. You only wish you had a quarterback like Brady who studies, works hard at what he does every game. Whining? I’d rather him “whine” for a bogus no call then to have the haters on here complain about his whining just for the hell of it. Depending on who your favorite quarterback is or what team you like, you only wish to have someone of his caliber throwing the football. Don’t be ignorant just because you hate the Pats. Call it for what it is and “IT” was a penalty. It was the heat of the moment and an F bomb was said. What should he have said to the ref who wasn’t man enough to give an explanation in the first place? “Hey pal, great game. Dinner at my place”? I mean wtf

  45. Also, for those still trying to knock Cam Newton, he’s arrived. He’s been good, but he’s only getting more consistent and has been a playmaker regardless during his first 3 eyars and a half. Please don’t continue your nonsensical hatred for this true talent just because you had some unfounded perception of him. We have enough actual bad QB’s in the league to knock. I think being accountable for 83 TD’s in your first 39 games is pretty good.

  46. @ nyneal-you sir are exactly right.
    As for the game, it was a great game by both teams. I am not a Pats fan being in Colorado but Gronk has the right to try to come back to the ball.Hell of a last drive with little time left for both teams.

  47. thekiller678 says:
    Nov 18, 2013 11:43 PM
    Besides It’s been said a million times before, NFL games are not won/lost on 1 play.


    Not if you ask 49ers fans or ESPN talking heads yesterday when crying about Ahmad Brooks.

  48. Yep, one of the worst non-calls on record, but too bad so sad!!!

    I bet the late Al Davis is laughing his butt off where ever he is!!!!

    Karma IS A B**ch ain’t it???? Still haven’t forgiven the league for the “Tuck” game with the Raiders and that’s not even my team!!!

    Nice to have the shoe on the other foot for a change with the PATS!!!!

  49. The league clearly wants to make Newton a star, and the call helped make their Saints matchups more appealing.

    But Cam may never win a playoff game. He squeaked by a crippled defense, and is too busy preening and pointing to himself. Total pretender.

  50. Panthers fans not getting the Super Bowl joke is precisely my beef with them. A bunch of rdneck amateurs who don’t know football and can’t name more than 4 players on the team.

    And yes, this is as close as they get to a Super Bowl, because the road to the actual Super Bowl goes through Seattle and they ain’t winning there.

  51. goodknave says: Nov 19, 2013 12:30 PM

    The league clearly wants to make Newton a star, and the call helped make their Saints matchups more appealing.

    But Cam may never win a playoff game. He squeaked by a crippled defense, and is too busy preening and pointing to himself. Total pretender.

    Fully agreed.

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