The Carolina Panthers ran into uncharted territory to face a familiar foe. Since Carolina became a franchise in 1993, they competed in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time and left their mark.
“This is a very tough team. We played a very physical team. You’ve got to give them credit,” said Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. “These guys played hard and it was about as physical of a game that I’ve been involved with.”
An ailing 2-5 overall record was notched up as the Panthers routed the Los Angeles Rams 13-10. Both teams are tied with a 3-5 overall record and are third in their respective divisions.
Quarterback Case Keenum completed 27 of his 46 passes for 296 yards, tight end Lance Kendricks made seven catches for 90 yards. Linebacker Alec Ogletree completed nine tackles.
For the Panthers, quarterback Cam Newton executed 20 of his 32 passes for 225 yards. He also rushed the ball for 16 yards. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin completed five catches for 76 yards. Linebacker Thomas Davis forced one turnover and committed 11 tackles.
“For us, the most important thing is finding ways to win the football game. That’s what we did,” said reigning NFL MVP Newton. “I’m just happy and proud of how everybody just kept pushing through and just did their job.”
Many have speculated that quarterback Case Keenum could be the source of the Rams’ problems.
“I would submit that Case wasn’t the reason that we lost this game tonight,” said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “We just didn’t make plays in all three phases.”
Incomplete passes and a lack of red zone execution plagued the Rams. In their first possession, Los Angeles attempted to make a field goal, but kicker Greg Zuerlein’s 55-yard attempt was no good. He missed a field goal again in the final play of the second quarter, but scored in the fourth.
The Panthers were able to advance down the field with the help of catches by tight end Greg Olsen and Benjamin. At the Rams’ nine-yard line, Newton passed the ball to Olsen who ran in a touchdown.
Both Newton and Keenum had tough moments in the game. Davis intercepted Keenum’s pass with 13 seconds left in the third quarter. The Rams defense sacked Newton five times.
“My job is to play defense and be the captain of the defense and I try to do my job as best as I can,” Ogletree said. “I felt we played pretty good today, but we got to force more turnovers, I feel like that’s one area we can improve in.”
Los Angeles would not score until late in the fourth quarter, Keenum threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Britt. By then, Carolina put their score out of the Rams’ reach with two field goals.
The Rams will travel to play the New York Jets on November 13th at 10:00 AM PST.