Thompson dropped into coverage and picked off a pass by Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. It was their first takeaway of the game and it set the Panthers up on the Jets’ 33-yard-line.
Two passes from Sam Darnold to Christian McCaffrey got the Panthers inside the 10-yard-line. A McCaffrey run was followed by two Darnold incompletions and Ryan Santoso came on for a field goal. The score was the first for either team and the Panthers lead 3-0 with over seven minutes to play in the first half.
Carolina also drove inside the 10 on their previous drive, but Darnold lost the ball while trying to hand it off to McCaffrey and Sheldon Rankins recovered for the Jets.