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Rapid Reactions: Offense falters, Panthers fall in Chicago

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CHICAGO — There's no way to say it other than to say it.

On another night in which the defense played well enough to win a game, the Panthers didn't do enough when they had the ball, and they lost another one in which they had a chance late, 16-13 to the Bears to fall to 1-8.

When Eddy Piñeiro's 59-yard prayer of a field goal missed, it underscored what was a dreadful night for the Panthers offense.

The Panthers managed just a season-low 213 yards, wasting a night when their second win of the year was within their grasp. 

They had chances, improbably so, including when they rescued a field goal in the fourth quarter from a first-and-30 situation.

But when it was time to make a play with the ball, they couldn't.

Rookie quarterback Bryce Young was 21-of-38 for 185 yards, and 45 of those came in one first-quarter chunk. 

And that's going to leave a mark, a week after he threw three interceptions in a loss to the Colts.

— Punt returner Ihmir Smith-Marsette got them on the board first with a 79-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

It was their first since Kaelin Clay's in 2017, and the kind of big play they needed in the worst way.

Smith-Marsette's previous long return was a 24-yarder last week against the Colts, and he was averaging 6.8 per return entering the game.

Mike Strachan was elevated from the practice squad because of the elbow injury that kept DJ Chark Jr. out this week, but he made a case for more play time regardless of the personnel.

Strahan caught a 45-yard dart from Young in the first quarter, setting up a field goal.

It was the longest reception of his career, which wasn't hard to pull off. He caught five passes for 85 yards in two years with the Colts before signing with the Panthers practice squad this year.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder, originally a seventh-rounder by the Colts out of Charleston (West Virginia's, not South Carolina's), has impressed with some strong practices of late and will likely earn more time.

View all the action from the Panthers' game against the Chicago Bears in Week 10 of the regular season.

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