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New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers 11/18/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes

Final Score: Carolina Panthers 24, New England Patriots 20

November 18, 2013

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Week 11 concluded on a high note with a great matchup on “Monday Night Football.”
The inter-conference matchup featured the New England Patriots heading down to Carolina to visit the Panthers, and with the Patriots’ high-powered offense going up against the Panthers’ resurgent defense, something was bound to give. The result was an entertaining and competitive game with plenty of storylines woven throughout--including a controversial finish.
Let’s take a look at some of the key players and statistics from the game so we can figure out exactly why things played out the way they did. We’ll also glance forward to Week 12 and see what’s in store for both teams in the near future.

What Happened: The Panthers’ offense was the first to find pay dirt, with QB Cam Newton connecting on a 9-yard pass to Brandon LaFell in the first quarter. They extended their lead in the second with a 43-yard Graham Gano field goal, and the Patriots responded with one of their own to make it 10-3 at the break.
After halftime, Tom Brady and company crawled back into it with a 9-yard Rob Gronkowski TD pass, but Carolina struck back later on in the third with another TD pass, this one to Greg Olsen. It was 17-10 after three.
The Pats offense surged in the fourth, tying it up on a Stevan Ridley run, then taking the lead with a 26-yard field goal. Left with a long field and the chance to tie or retake the lead before time expired, Newton drove his team 83 yards to a 25-yard passing touchdown and a 24-20 cushion.
Here’s where things got interesting. After the Pats got the ball and drove down the field, the stage was set for a crazy last-second finish from the Panthers’ 18-yard line with three seconds left. A pass interference call was made on LB Luke Kuechly, who was guarding Gronkowski, but the flag was picked up after the referees ruled the pass was uncatchable due to his distance from the ball.
Needless to say, there will be endless discussion about this one in the days to come. Regardless, the 24-20 win elevates the Panthers to 7-3 on the year with six straight victories, and drops the Patriots to 7-3 themselves.

New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers 11/18/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Stars: This was Cam Newton’s game and no one else’s. He was terrific, posting 209 pass yards and three touchdowns, along with a game-high 62 rush yards on seven carries.
The Carolina offense went 8-of-11 on third downs and 2-for-2 in the red zone.
The Panthers defense also deserves some credit, as they were able to slow down a Patriots offense that was cooking after hanging 55 on the Steelers last week.
On the other side, RB Shane Vereen deserves some praise, as he led the team in receiving (65 yards on eight grabs) after being activated shortly before game time.

The Goats: There’s no real dog here, but we can point the finger at a couple of plays. Stevan Ridley lost a big fumble that wrecked a 67-yard drive in the first half. Also, Brady (and he admitted this after the game) was far too ginger on his final pass, and the extra cautiousness cost the team.

Injuries: Panthers DE Charles Johnson left the game with a knee injury in the third. He returned late, but will have an MRI today.
New England TE Michael Hoomanawanui also came out due to a knee injury.

Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 12, the Panthers will once again be testing the waters of the AFC East. They’ll head to Miami to take on the Dolphins this Sunday. (1:00 PM ET on FOX.)
As for the Patriots, they’ll get another primetime game Sunday evening when Peyton Manning and the 9-1 Denver Broncos come to town. (8:30 PM ET on NBC.)

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

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