Panthers snap losing streak despite Sam Darnold concussion


The Panthers lost quarterback Sam Darnold to a concussion on Sunday afternoon, but they were able to avoid losing their fifth-straight game.

Chuba Hubbard ran for a touchdown shortly after Darnold left the game in the fourth quarter and cornerback Stephon Gilmore picked off Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on the first play after the two-minute warning to keep the Panthers up nine points. The Falcons rallied for a field goal, but a failed onside kick sealed a 19-13 Panthers win.

Gilmore was playing his first game since being acquired in a trade with the Patriots earlier this season. He had a pass interference penalty earlier in the game, but the pick is a better representation of why the Panthers brought him to Carolina.

Ryan was 20-of-27 for 146 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions overall. He also took two sacks and gashed his left hand when a Panthers defender stepped on it during a play. It’s Ryan’s worst game since Week Two and the loss ends a two-game winning streak for Atlanta. They’ll try to get back on track against the Saints next week.

Darnold was only 13-of-24 for 129 yards through the air, but he ran for a 66 yards. The last eight came before he was drilled by Falcons safety Erik Harris on the play that ended his afternoon. P.J. Walker replaced Darnold for the second straight week and didn’t have to do much after Hubbard stretched the team’s lead to nine points.

Hubbard had 24 carries for 82 yards and the Panthers rolled up 203 rushing yards overall. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said earlier this month that the team had to be more committed to running the ball and it paid off for them on Sunday. They’ll face the Patriots in Week Nine.