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The Carolina Panthers showed flashes of brilliance on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
In the end, it was the same old story in another close home loss.
A 43-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse was the difference maker in a 12-7 win for the Seahawks against the Panthers.
Carolina head coach Ron Rivera believes missed opportunities on offense were a theme in Sundayâ€™s game for the Panthers.
â€śWe had missed opportunities to put some points on the board and we didnâ€™t do it," he said. "We got down to the red zone and unfortunately we turned it over. We canâ€™t have that, especially in the situation we were in. We were driving down, had the chance to take the lead. That was disappointing just because we had done a nice job.â€ť
Third-year quarterback Cam Newton echoed his head coachâ€™s sentiments.
â€śIf anybody thinks this game came down to one particular play, it didnâ€™t,â€ť said Newton, who was held to a career-low 125 passing yards in the contest. â€śAs an offense we had our opportunities, second and short, I got to lead the ball, lead Steve on the over route in the first quarter. Itâ€™s a couple things that I feel like it was a 50/50 chance. Any time when you are put in that opportunity or put in that situation, it can go either way. For us we just have to be more aggressive and take the bull by its horns and go. Iâ€™m speaking for myself, the offense, team, everybody.â€ť
Carolina (0-1) had an opportunity to take the lead late in the contest, but a fumble by running back DeAngelo Williams at the Seattle 24-yard line with 5:34 left in the game.
â€śIn that situation, Iâ€™ve watched countless film on them and, I know thatâ€™s what they do â€” they strip and go for the ball,â€ť Williams said. â€śBut Iâ€™m a fighter, Iâ€™m going to fight for every yard that I can get and help my team win and put them in the best situation. Unfortunately, today they got the ball out and it cost my team and the fans a hard fought win, and I want to apologize.â€ť
The Panther offense struggled against a gritty Seattle defense, tallying 243 total yards.
â€śI donâ€™t think we had too many three and outs. We got a couple first downs on most drives,â€ť said Carolina offensive tackle Jordan Gross. â€śWe controlled the time of possession and their starting field position wasnâ€™t great or was good on our part, but the biggest thing was turnovers.â€ť
One bright spot for the Panthers in Sundayâ€™s game was its defense, which held Seattle to just 70 yards on the ground.
â€śBelieve me I thought we had the chance to hold them to 12 (points). I really did,â€ť Rivera said. â€śThey are a good football team. They are a solid football team. They run the ball extremely well. They are very tough. This is what they do. They grind you and they grind you. This is almost a repeat of last yearâ€™s football game. Again, we had an opportunity when we got down to the red zone and we just didnâ€™t convert.â€ť
The Panthers try to bounce back when they face their first road test in 2013 this Saturday against the Buffalo Bills.
Newton believes that a complete team effort is what the Panthers need in order to pick up their first win of the season.
â€śIt just comes down to us,â€ť he said. â€śOffensively, we have to execute and make plays. Defensively, those guys are going to do what they do, and special teams as well. But, the unsportsmanlike conduct, the penalties, stalling drives, we canâ€™t have that. Weâ€™ll come back and get ready for Buffalo.â€ťView more articles in: