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Week 12: Big First Half Leads to Panthers Victory Over Chargers

Discussion in 'Game Summaries & Team News' started by LtJustice, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Jul 22, 2010
    [​IMG] Vs. [​IMG]
    Despite their difference in records, the Carolina Panthers (8-2) and the San Diego Chargers (2-8) definitely share some similarities. Both teams feature an offense led by a top rated quarterback, with an abundance of weapons at his disposal. Both teams are also afflicted with an underachieving passing defense, who each rank near the bottom of the league in yards allowed. If you want a surefire recipe for a shootout, that would be it.​
    If there was ever any doubt that there would be a lot of fireworks in this game, those doubts were erased after each team scored on their first offensive play from scrimmage with long touchdown passes. The first half was a barrage of big plays as both teams combined to put 77 points on the board before halftime.​

    1st Half:

    The Panthers would start things off with a bang; as on 1st down Cam Newton had great protection that allowed him to find rookie receiver Patrick Wilkerson down the sideline with a step on his man. Cam dropped a beautiful bomb into Wilkerson's hands as he crossed the goal line for a 65 yard touchdown and an early 7-0 Carolina lead.

    On the first play of the ensuing drive; the Chargers would answer right back as Phillip Rivers found tight end Antonio Gates wide open about 15 yards down field. Gates would elude a tackle and outrun the Panthers defense for a 74 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie less than 30 seconds into the game.

    Both teams would keep the fast pace going; as first Carolina put together a 2 minute scoring drive that resulted in a 14 yard Newton touchdown pass to fullback Mike Tolbert. San Diego would answer right back with their own 2 minute scoring drive, as Rivers connected with talented young tight end Ladarius Green for a 40 yard touchdown. 14-14 with 2:48 to go in the 1st quarter.

    Carolina would need less than a minute to take the lead back; as Wilkerson took a short pass, eluded a tackle, and out ran the Washington defense to the endzone for a 52 yard touchdown and a 21-14 Panthers lead.

    San Diego continued to go blow for blow with the Panthers as they scored again on their next possession, to tie the game on the opening play of the 2nd quarter. Chargers halfback Ryan Matthews took a screen pass from Rivers and got some great blocks that sprung him for a 38 yard touchdown to tie the game at 21-21.

    The Panthers only needed the ensuing kickoff to take the lead right back, as returner Elijah Mitchell somehow squirted through a mass of humanity untouched and raced 102 yards for his 2nd kick return touchdown of the season and a 28-21 Carolina lead with 6:42 left on the clock in the 2nd quarter.

    The Chargers offense would be the first to stumble, as they would be held to a punt on their next possession. Without leading receiver Ladarius Green, who left the game with an injury at the Chargers last possession, the Chargers offense appeared to be suddenly out of sync. Rivers would throw 2 consecutive errant passes that were nearly picked off and on a third down pass Gates would have the ball knocked out of his hands by Panthers rookie cornerback Wesley Orange.

    The Panthers would get a good punt return that set them up with a short field and four plays later Cam Newton would break away on a 33 yard touchdown run to push the Panthers lead to 35-21 with just under 4 minutes to go in the half.

    The next two drives would end with the best and worst case scenarios for a screen pass. The Chargers would be held to a punt as Gates caught a 3rd down screen pass and was immediately stopped for a loss. On the flip side, Panthers halfback Taiwan Jones would catch a screen pass and break away for a 70 yard touchdown and a 42-21 Carolina lead at the 2 minute warning.

    The Chargers offense would get back on track as they needed less than a minute to march down field and score on a 2 yard Matthews touchdown run.

    The Panthers would answer the Chargers 1 minute drive, with one of their own. With a minute on the clock, and two timeouts left, the Panthers would drive down field and score on a 2 yard Newton to A.J Green touchdown pass to push the Carolina lead to 49-28 at the half.

    2nd Half:

    Both defenses seemed to make some halftime adjustments, and it showed in the opening possessions of the 3rd quarter, as each team was held to a punt on their first possessions after halftime.

    The Chargers would get things going again on their 2nd possession of the half, as San Diego drove down field and scored on a 10 yard Matthews touchdown run. The score cut the Panthers lead to two scores at 49-35 with over three minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.

    The Panthers were once again held to a punt, and the Chargers had the opportunity to cut the Carolina lead to one score. A promising Chargers drive would be cut short as reserve tight end Tyler Nono, filling in for the injured Green, would drop a wide open 3rd down pass that would force a San Diego punt.

    It looked as though the Panthers would be once again held to a punt, as they faced a third and long from their own 30 yard line. On the opening play of the 4th quarter, Cam would stand strong with a blitz bearing down on him and throw a jump ball in the direction of Wilkerson just past the first down marker. Wilkerson would go up between two San Diego defenders and make a beautiful catch at the peek of his jump. Appearing to be surprised to not be immediately tackled, Wilkerson raced across the field toward the endzone and took the catch 70 yards for his third score of the game. With the score, the Panthers lead was pushed back to 21 at 56-35 just seconds into the 4th quarter.

    The Chargers still had fight in them and drove down into Carolina territory. Unfortunately for San Diego, another drop would end a promising drive with a turnover on downs.

    Carolina would attempt to eat up some clock on the ground, but were seeing minimal success against the suddenly stout San Diego defense. Having already had to convert one third down with a pass, the Panthers faced another third and long. Cam would drop a pass into tight end Greg Olsen that appeared to be good for the first down. But Olsen would then shake off a tackle and run untouched to the endzone for a 52 yard touchdown and a 63-35 Carolina lead.

    With time running out on a comeback attempt; San Diego would try to pick up some big chunks in the air, only to have Panthers safety Charles Godfrey intercept a Rivers pass that allowed the Panthers to run out the clock and secure the victory.


    With the victory the Panthers move to 9-2 and maintain a tie with the rival New Orleans Saints atop the NFC South. The Panthers next travel to St Louis to take on coach Eddie and his Rams. The Chargers fall to 2-9 on the season and next go on the road to take on the New York Jets.


    GG Daryl! You caught some tough breaks with drops. It's a different game if Green doesn't go down early. GL the rest of the way, we'll probably see you again in season 5!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
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