Rapid Reactions: Panthers fall to Patriots, 24-6

Robby Anderson

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers got their starting running back back on the field.

It wasn't enough to put up a good offensive performance against the Patriots on Sunday.

Sam Darnold threw three interceptions in the second half, including a pick-six, as the Panthers fell, 24-6.

Darnold finished the game 16-of-33 for 172 yards with those three interceptions.

But he did finish the game, unlike the Giants game two weeks ago when he was pulled.

The Panthers managed only 240 yards of total offense, with just 65 coming in the first half.

And even with Christian McCaffrey returning to the field (he had been out since Week 3), the Panthers weren't able to run the ball, after an effective day in Atlanta without him last week.

McCaffrey had 52 yards rushing and four catches for another 54 yards, but the Panthers rushed for just 78 yards (after going for 203 last week against the Falcons).

— As if the Panthers didn't have enough problems on the offensive line, they lost a pair of starters in the first half.

Center Matt Paradis went down on the second play of the game with a knee injury, and did not return. He was carted to the locker room.

Left tackle Cameron Erving went down later in the half with a calf injury, and while he was initially announced as questionable to return, he did not.

That left the Panthers strapped for replacements.

Sam Tecklenburg went in at center, and they didn't have another one active for the game. Rookie offensive linemen Brady Christensen (a tackle by trade in college, who has gotten snaps at guard and tackle here) was practicing his snaps on the sidelines after Paradis left the game.

Dennis Daley replaced Erving at left tackle.

The Panthers were starting Michael Jordan and Trent Scott at the two guard spots, meaning right tackle Taylor Moton was their only regular starter in his regular spot by halftime.

— Cornerback Stephon Gilmore had his second interception in as many games, picking off Patriots quarterback Mac Jones.

It was the first regular season home game for Gilmore with his hometown team, and while it wasn't as dramatic as last week's game-sealing pick in Atlanta, he's showing he's still capable of making big plays.

Coupled with Frankie Luvu recovering a Jones fumble (forced by Brian Burns), the Panthers created a pair of turnovers in the first half. But both were just turned into field goals.

— Burns left the game in the fourth quarter, after his second stint in the injury tent.

Early in the game, he appeared to injure his ankle, after Jones grabbed him on the strip sack. When Burns was helped off in the fourth quarter, he didn't appear to be putting much weight on his right leg.

View photos from Bank of America Stadium as the Panthers take on the Patriots in Week 9.

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