"About as bad as it gets," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We had an opportunity to win the game, an opportunity to close it out, and we didn't do it."
Following a 11-play drive that took 5:35 off the clock, the Panthers elected to kick a 39-yard field goal on fourth-and-1 with 1:42 remaining. Kicker
Rivera said he considered going for it on fourth down, but elected to take three points.
"The thought process was kick the field goal, go up by six and make them go the length (of the field)," Rivera said, "Unfortunately it worked out for them."
The Bills had no timeouts remaining and needed to produce an 80-yard touchdown drive.
After eight plays, 78 yards and a
Aided by a miscommunication between cornerback
"We could have put this game away early and we didn't," linebacker
At halftime, the Panthers held a 7-3 advantage courtesy of an effective two-minute drive of their own.
Carolina marched 90 yards in 10 plays and found the end zone when quarterback
A Dan Carpenter field goal cut the lead to one in the third quarter before the Panthers took advantage of a costly Bills' special teams penalty to push the lead to eight. Carolina punter
Four plays later, Newton and wide receiver
"Cam made a great thrown and I got open," Ginn said. "That's all you can ask for."
But running back Fred Jackson answered with a 4-yard touchdown run on the ensuing Bills possession, and wide receiver Robert Woods hauled in a quick slant for the two-point conversion to tie the game with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter.
The Panthers defense proceeded to force two successive turnovers – a strip-sack by safety
"Our efficiency in the red zone has to be better," Newton said.
Carpenter converted a 48-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and his extra point in the final seconds effectively dropped the Panthers to 0-2 on the season.
"We didn't make enough plays," Newton said. "We've got a bunch of relentless guys on this team, and there's no doubt in my mind we will continue to push forward to become a better team. And as far as quitting, there will be none of that at all."