The Carolina Panthers desperately needed to get back on track after dropping their last two games to fall to 2-4 on the season. After a huge trade with the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this week; nobody was sure what to expect out of the Panthers defense, who lost standout linebacker James Anderson in the deal, but they delivered a commanding performance in Chicago's Soldier Field as the Panthers defeated the Bears 42-24. Panthers General Manager LtJustice tirelessly worked the phone lines, in anticipation of the impending trade deadline, trying to secure a difference maker or two for Coach Luby's squad. The veteran GM, in his first season in Carolina, did just that when he pulled off a huge trade that already paid dividends in this contest. The Panthers were able to acquire 2nd year Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green and veteran cornerback Nate Clements in the Cincinnati deal, and both played key parts in the victory. The game started off on a bad note for Carolina; as early on the opening drive Bears cornerback Charles Tillman stepped in front of a Cam Newton pass (intended for Green) and returned it 40 yards for the touchdown and the 7-0 lead. The Panthers offense would regroup and march down field to answer right back on a 20 yard Newton TD pass to tight end Gary Barnidge. The Panthers defense would force a punt on the Bears first offensive possession and were in position to take the lead in this one. That was until receiver Steve Smith went up high for a Newton pass and had the ball knocked out of his hands. On what looked like it was going to be a good pass breakup, it turned into a great interception as Bears linebacker Julius Peppers made a shoestring catch for the INT. The Panthers defense would make a great goal line stand and force the Bears to settle for an 18 yard field goal, which game the Bears a 10-7 lead early in the 2nd quarter. On the ensuing drive; Panthers halfback Taiwan Jones, another Justice acquisition this season, would take a Newton option pitch and outrun everyone down the sideline for a 77 yard touchdown and a 14-10 Panther lead. Not to be shown up by the young buck on the other sideline, Bears veteran halfback Matt Forte would take the lead back for Chicago with a 56 yard touchdown run of his own. 17-14 Bears, midway through the 2nd. After a missed Panthers field goal, Chicago would have possession, and aimed to increase their lead, with just under 2 minutes to go in the half. They would move the ball near midfield before Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble would grab a Jay Cutler pass and take it 50 yards the other way for the score, giving the Panthers the lead again at 21-17 with just under a minute to go. Cutler would throw another costly interception on a deep pass, that gave the Panthers offense another shot before the half. Newton and company would capitalize as they quickly moved the ball downfield and Newton would connect with newcomer Green for a 35 yard touchdown on a beautifully thrown bomb to the endzone. 28-17 Panthers at the half. The 3rd quarter was all defense, as neither team was able to put any points up. Early in the 4th, the Bears were threatening to cut into the Panthers lead with a 1st and goal from the 1 yard line. The Panthers D would come up with two huge stops on 1st and 2nd downs. Then on 3rd down, Forte would try to take a handoff to the corner of the endzone, only to be met by All-Pro Panther linebacker Jon Beason. Beason would make a great hit on Forte that would knock the ball loose near the sideline. Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly would show a great nose for the ball as he came from the opposite side of the field and scooped up the loose ball. Kuechly would rumble 96 yards for the score, increasing the Panthers lead to 35-17. The Bears would answer right back, as Cutler engineered a gquick scoring drive, thta would result in a 32 yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery. Panthers lead 35-24. The Panthers would put the game away with a late TD run by Jones to give you your final score of 42-25. The Panthers defense definitely showed no signs of trouble, despite losing such a big time player as Anderson. They would sack Cutler 5 times and pick him off a total of 4 times in this one. One interception each by every member of their starting defensive backfield; including newcomer Clements, who has proven to be a quick study. --------------------------------------------------- GG Zo! Good luck the rest of the way!