HC Ron Rivera decided to test Devin Hester. As many coaches before him would have attested, that was the wrong move. Carolina lost to the Bears in a high scoring 34-29 affair. Hester had a 73 yard kickoff return to set up a later score, and a 69 yard punt return for a TD breaking the all time record.Hester wrecked an already tough day for the Panthers. The Carolina defense played decently against the pass, holding QB Jay Cutler to just over 100 yards and picking him off once. The run D, was another story. RB Matt Forte dismantled the Panther D, rushing for a whopping 205 yards and a TD. No team can overcome a beat down like that. Carolina’s front 7 looked weak against Chicago’s tough O-line. If Carolina wants to be legit, they will need to toughen up and learn how to curb teams running offenses.
As far as Cam Newton and the offense go, it was a decent performance. Newton threw for 374 yards, a TD, and a INT. They moved the ball very well, racking up 543 total yards, but scored only 29 points. Newton, DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart combined for 169 yards rushing, which is a good base for the offense. The main problem was 3 drives that stalled too early, and ended in FG’s for K Olindo Mare. If the Panthers stick the ball in the EZ, they win. Simple, right? As much as die hard fans can’t stand to see losses, Carolina clearly has a serious future ahead of them. If you are pulling your hair out with each defeat, be patient. The wins will come. Next week Carolina takes on the division rival Saints at home. Check back for a game preview on Saturday.
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