CHARLOTTE – In football, it's often said that more games are lost than they are won.
"The team that stays poised and makes the least amount of mistakes is the team that's going to win," running back Christian McCaffrey said after Carolina's 30-24 loss to Seattle.
For weeks, the Panthers have been the team making more mistakes. As a result, they've lost six games in a row.
"I can't say I'm surprised by it," safety Tre Boston said. "It's just game after game after game. We know what's happening."
Unlike last week's blowout loss at Atlanta where the game got away from Carolina in the third quarter – interim head coach Perry Fewell bluntly termed it "bad football" – the Panthers gave themselves a chance at the start of the second half versus the visiting Seahawks.
A 52-yard field goal from Joey Slye on the opening drive cut the deficit to 10 and the defense followed that with a stop.
Then, on second-and-8 from the Seattle 39-yard line, the momentum-sucking turnover beast reared its ugly head.
Quarterback Kyle Allen tried to connect with McCaffrey over the middle, but the pass was tipped by defensive tackle Poona Ford, allowing linebacker K.J. Wright to make the easy interception.
But the Panthers, who had gone almost three weeks without recording a takeaway, finally got one on the next series.
Seattle tried a wide receiver pass and Josh Gordon's deep ball for DK Metcalf was picked off by Boston.
Two plays later, on second-and-5 from his own 18-yard line, Allen ran a naked boot and found nothing but trouble.
"(Defensive tackle Jarran Reed) guessed right and guessed that we were doing a naked and he was up on me," Allen recalled. "I turned around and he was right in my face. I tried to throw the ball away and it sailed on me."
It sailed into the waiting arms of Wright for another interception – Allen's third of the day – and this one was deep in Carolina territory.
"At that point I'm just trying to get the ball out of my hands and throw it away," Allen said. "Instead I turned it over inside our own 20, which is terrible."
Seattle tacked on three points to make it a 23-10 game.
"Turnovers suck," McCaffrey said. "It's our job to respond in a positive manner and capitalize on their mistakes, too."
"You want to give the team some energy," guard Trai Turner said. "It's tough to do that when you have turnovers."
The Panthers then went three-and-out to start the fourth quarter and the Seahawks found the end zone with an 11-play, 82-yard drive.
That made it 30-10, but to Carolina's credit, it wasn't over.
"I'm proud of my guys," Boston said. "We kept fighting."
McCaffrey scored on a 15-yard touchdown run, and after the Panthers forced a Seattle three-and-out, Allen connected with Samuel for a 5-yard touchdown.
All the sudden it was a six-point game with 3:14 to go.
The comeback hinged on third-and-11 at the 2:24 mark, and that's when Russell Wilson did what he does, scrambling to extend the play before hitting wide receiver Tyler Lockett for 14 yards. Cornerback James Bradberry was penalized for illegal contact anyway, which would have resulted in an automatic first down.
No one gave Carolina much of a chance in this one against a Seattle team that came to Charlotte with 10 wins. Most expected it to be a blowout after the Seahawks scored three touchdowns on their first three possessions.
But a six-point loss isn't any easier to take when it's your sixth in a row.
"We have to take something from this," Fewell acknowledged. "We can compete with a 10-win team. We can compete with the next two opponents we have to play.
"We have to find a way to eliminate those mistakes and keep harping on not beating ourselves."
View photos from Week 15 as Carolina hosts Seattle.