banner
Carolina Panthers

Blog: Carolina Panthers down St. Louis Rams, 30-15

Posted October 20, 2013

The Carolina Panthers returned home Sunday, looking to get their third win of the year.

FINAL: Panthers 30, Rams 15: In a chippy contest in Charlotte Sunday, the Carolina Panthers forced three turnovers and defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-15, to improve to 3-3 on the year.

9:09 4th: Panthers 30, Rams 15: Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein split the uprights on his second FG of the game but the Panthers still lead by 15 with under 10 minutes to play.

11:32 4th: Panthers 30, Rams 12: Graham Gano connected from 50-yards, his third FG of the game, and the Panthers lead is now 30-12 in the 4th quarter. Gano improved to 9-for-9 on the year with the kick.

:19 3rd: Panthers 27, Rams 12: The Carolina Panthers answered a Rams TD with a 8-play, 72-yard drive capped by a Steve Smith 19-yard TD reception and the lead is once again two scores.

5:22 3rd: Panthers 20, Rams 12: The Rams needed just three plays to respond to the Panthers score as a 73-yard pass play set up a 4-yard Zac Stacy touchdown - the first of his career.

6:46 3rd: Panthers 20, Rams 5: After Steve Smith was ruled down on the 1 after a review, the Rams defense held Carolina - aided by a personal foul flag on Mike Tolbert - to a field goal and the Panthers lead is now 20-5.

Also on the drive, Rams offensive lineman Chris Long was ejected after a large, both-team altercation.  Panthers down Rams, 30-15 Slideshow: Carolina Panthers vs. St. Louis Rams

HALF: Panthers 17, Rams 5: Despite giving up their first 1st quarter points all year, the Panthers take a 17-5 lead into half against the Rams. 

1:05 2nd: Panthers 17, Rams 5: The first offensive TD of the game came with less than two minutes to play before half as Mike Tolbert found the endzone on a 1-yard dive set up by a big Ted Ginn reception.

5:28 2nd: Panthers 10, Rams 5: A 15-play drive by St. Louis ended in a 28-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein and the Panthers lead has been narrowed to 10-5.

14:12: Panthers 10, Rams 2: Carolina added a 37-yard Graham Gano field goal after their cross-quarter drive stalled and the Panthers lead 10-2.

End of 1: Panthers 7, Rams 2: Carolina's offense was responsible for the first points surrendered in the 1st quarter all year, but they are driving with the lead as the game moves to the 2nd.

5:23 1st: Panthers 7, Rams 2: After the Panthers defense held on a 4th and goal, the Rams defense responded by tackling Mike Tolbert for a loss in the endzone and a safety. Carolina still leads St. Louis 7-2 late in the 1st.

The safety was the first points Carolina has given up in the 1st quarter all year.

14:54 1st: Panthers 7, Rams 0: Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn intercepted a Sam Bradford pass on the first play of the game, returning it 45 yards for a Panthers score and an early 7-0 lead.


PREGAME

Quarterbacks selected with the first pick in the NFL Draft haven't always been the catalysts for instant turnarounds. However, the teams that have gone with signal callers at No. 1 in the last few years seem pretty content with their decisions.

Two of those players - Sam Bradford (2010) of the St. Louis Rams and Cam Newton (2011) of the Carolina Panthers - will meet for the first time on Sunday in Charlotte to compare their respective progress reports.
For Bradford, a former star at the University of Oklahoma, it's a chance to win a third consecutive start for just the second time in his brief career.

The Rams opened 2013 with a home defeat of Arizona, then lost three straight games - at Atlanta, at Dallas and home to San Francisco - before bouncing back the last two weekends with a home defeat of Jacksonville and a 25-point rout at Houston.

St. Louis scored just 14 points per game during the three losses, but has put up a combined 72 in the victories over the Jaguars and Texans.

"They really never lost their confidence," coach Jeff Fisher said. "They just lost games."

The wins have seen a marked improvement in Bradford, who's thrown for 339 yards and six touchdowns and compiled a 121.6 passer rating - including a 134.6 mark against Houston - while hitting on 31-of-50 attempts. In the three straight losses, his rating was 77.1.

"He's been great, no mistakes," Fisher said. "He's managing the game. He's carrying on."

Not coincidentally, the Bradford resurgence came right about the time the Rams rediscovered a running game. Rookie Zac Stacy has churned out 157 yards in the last two weeks and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
Previous No. 1 back Daryl Richardson was averaging just 2.9 yards while starting three of the initial four games.

The Panthers have been less than porous against previous ground-gainers. They sit fourth in the league in rush defense at 88 yards per game. Overall, they're third, with a per-game total yardage clip of 299.2.
In the last three weeks, that average is 230 and they've forced eight turnovers.

A beneficiary of that stinginess on the other side has been Newton, who completed 20-of-26 passes for 242 yards, three scores and ran for another TD in a Week 6 defeat of Minnesota.

Coach Ron Rivera has trended toward bold when making offensive decisions, successfully converting a pair of fourth downs on the opening drive against the Vikings.

"Sometimes you play by the book and you miss opportunities," he said. "It's been an enlightening situation for me and one of the things I want to try to do is make sure we're in the best position to win."

Newton said the offense gets a boost when the coach provides that support.

"To trust us means a lot and it speaks volumes," Newton said. "He always has that conservative mentality. He is kind of breaking his mold to a degree, and giving the whole team confidence with him."

Carolina opened with losses to Seattle and Buffalo, then ripped the New York Giants, 38-0, in Week 3 at home. The Panthers' bye came in Week 4 and was followed by a 16-point loss at Arizona and the 25-point blowout win at Minnesota.

In the Rams, they meet a foe that's been gashed for 165.3 yards per game on the ground over the past four weeks, though that's been made up for in some part by the creation of seven turnovers in the last two games.
St. Louis scored twice on defense against Houston last week.

"We know our hands are going to be full against a team that's also coming off a big win," Newton said. "We're all excited about getting the opportunity to (return home). It feels like it's been a long time, but at the same time we're coming in with a little bit of momentum. That's what you want."

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Rams to seek balance. St. Louis's stats from the Houston victory were noticeable -- only 16 throws by Bradford, in particular -- but they're mitigated by the fact that the Rams took an early lead and changed the game's dynamic.

This week, facing a team that's among the league's best stopping the run, expect offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to not abandon the run, but probably put more on Bradford's plate.

The Panthers to go old school. Carolina is one of the few teams in recent years to average more rushing attempts (32.6 per game through six games) than pass attempts (30.6 per game), and the Rams could be vulnerable there, considering they've allowed more than 160 per game on the ground in the last four.

Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Ole Miss at Arkansas

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:30 am on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Wisconsin at Iowa

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Colorado

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. Stanford/UCLA

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
 
1st
DUKE 13
TEMPL 6
 
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
 
Final
PHI 96
PHO 122
 
Final
ATL 99
DET 89
 
4th
TOR 124
MIL 81
 
4th
MEM 90
BOS 78
 
4th
OKC 77
BRK 76
 
4th
WAS 80
CLE 67
 
4th
MIN 68
SAN 93
 
Half
DAL 68
LAL 59
 
2nd
DEN 48
NOP 34
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
3rd
RICE 10
UTEP 3
 
1st
SDST 7
AFA 0
 
1st
UTST 7
SJST 0
 
Final
COC 50
TEXAM 59
Final
DREX 70
USC 72
Final
GWEBB 72
CLEM 70
Final
MIAMI 79
AKR 51
Final
UCONN 75
DAY 64
Final
NEV 60
SHU 68
Final
LONG 81
UNCG 79
Final
ARKPB 46
VALPO 59
 
Final
WVU 70
BC 66
Final
TOWS 58
CCST 49
 
Final
YALE 70
ILLCH 58
 
Final
IOWA 63
SYR 66
 
Final
HAMP 82
ALCOR 69
 
Final
ODU 70
LSU 61
 
Final
KENT 89
BU 65
 
Final
SCAR 63
CHAR 65
 
Final
UVA 59
GWU 42
 
Final
WCU 72
HIWASSEE 53
 
Final
GT 78
MAST 69
 
Final
RIDE 78
LEH 74
 
Final
MSU 87
LOYC 52
 
Final
CMICH 76
MAINE 48
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
Final
BAY 60
PVU 45
 
Final
HOF 66
USB 65
 
Final
OREG 78
TOL 68
 
Final
UGA 82
TROY 60
 
Final
STAN 89
UNLV 60
 
Final
FAIR 36
WOFF 54
 
Final
EMICH 71
YOUNG 62
 
Final
MON 73
COOK 50
 
Final
FIU 74
FLMEM 48
 
Final
KSU 74
SILL 51
 
Final
CAL 55
TEX 71
 
2nd
GMAS 56
NMU 65
 
Final
ILL 107
PEAY 66
 
2nd
ARK 94
DELST 64
 
Final
MCNST 85
JCHR 70
 
2nd
NDST 62
KNST 55
 
2nd
OKST 79
UWMIL 66
 
2nd
LATU 66
MORE 54
 
2nd
SDKST 62
NDAK 64
 
2nd
XAV 75
STEPH 61
 
2nd
UF 49
LAMON 43
 
2nd
WAKE 46
IONA 57
 
Half
GRCN 34
FAM 22
 
Half
COLST 29
UGST 34
 
Half
WASU 32
IDST 31
 
1st
WEBER 25
ILLST 38
 
1st
AUB 40
LALAF 32
 
1st
LOU 31
MARS 23
 
1st
ORST 18
ORU 20
 
1st
SD 25
SHSU 23
 
1st
UTAH 47
UCR 21
 
1st
DUKE 13
TEMPL 6
 
1st
CORN 12
PSU 6
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
DEL
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
Final
CLB 3
BOS 4
 
Final
PIT 4
NYI 5
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
1st
EDM 0
NJD 0