2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
6-7, 2nd in NFC South
0:17

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Defensive end Julius Peppers said it would be a ‘'great story'' of the Panthers beat New Orleans on Monday night and won the next two to make the playoffs. In fact, he expects it to happen.

0:18

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Ron Rivera's message to players today was they still have a chance to make the playoffs despite a five-game losing streak. The Panthers (6-7) are a half game back of Minnesota (6-6-1) for the final NFC wild card spot with three games to go, beginning with a Monday night game against New Orleans. ‘'At the end of the day we still have an opportunity, believe it or not,'' Rivera said at an early-morning press conference.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton doesn't sound like he plans to sit out the final three games and rest his sore throwing shoulder amidst growing concern over his arm strength. “Who is it coming from?'' Newton said of who is concerned after Sunday's loss to Cleveland, the team's fifth straight setback. Told outside the organization. “Exactly,'' Newton said. Asked specifically if he wanted to continue to play this season, the 2015 NFL MVP said, “Next question.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Cam Newton said ‘'nobody wants me to succeed more than me'' when asked about the missed opportunities. As for the five game skid he said the team is ‘'done with the cliches.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers nickel back Captain Munnerlyn called the defensive holding penalty against him while Thomas Davis was wrapping up a sack ‘'bull.'' He wasn't too pleased with the official's response either.

3d

Mayfield, Browns send Panthers to fifth straight loss

Baker Mayfield outplayed Cam Newton, Jarvis Landry caught a touchdown pass and ran for another score and the Cleveland Browns damaged Carolina's playoff hopes with a 26-20 win Sunday over the Panthers, who dropped their fifth straight.

Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN Senior Writer 

Christian McCaffrey caught six passes today, giving him 86 for the season. He is now tied with Matt Forte (2014) for the most by any running back in history through 13 team games of a season.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers coach Ron Rivera doesn't anticipate more changes to his staff after a fifth straight loss. He fired two defensive coaches and took over the play calling after last week's loss.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers simply aren't a very good football team. Sunday's 26-20 loss to Cleveland extended their losing streak to five straight. The losses have included the Browns, Tampa Bay and Detroit, the lower end teams of the NFL. Coach Ron Rivera taking over the defensive play calling did nothing to change the performance of a unit that continued to give up big plays, particularly on third down. David Tepper will have some decisions to make.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Browns gave the Panthers one last chance to slip out of here with a win and Cam Newton just threw it away with that pick.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

This story is familiar. Third down. Panthers give up a big play, this time a 51-yard run by wide receiver Jarvis Landry. That is followed by a touchdown run and Cleveland takes the lead 23-20. The only good thing to come out of that was the extra point hit the upright and failed. This defense has given up 289 yards with almost a full quarter to go.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers take a 20-17 lead, but they have squandered to opportunities deep in Cleveland territory this half to take control. Such things usually come back to bite you.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is doing his part to try and stop the losing streak. He has two forced fumbles, including one to start the second half. Offense needs to capitalize because other than turnovers the defense hasn't stopped Baker Mayfield and company.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The same issues that have hurt the Panthers defensively continued to be an issue in the first half with head coach Ron Rivera calling the plays. The Browns were 3-for-4 on third down and would have been 4-for-4 had Rashard Higgins not dropped what likely would have been a touchdown around the Carolina 5. The Panthers continued to give up big passes over the top. The lack of a pass rush plays a part on all of this .No sacks in the first half. The good news Cam Newton and the offense have been efficient enough to make it 17-17.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Chandler Catanzaro has been successful on two extra points and a 30-yard field goal after being called by the Panthers on Thursday while at a Zaxby's eating a fried chicken finger plate. Graham Gano is inactive after showing up on the injury report for a knee injury for the second straight week.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Prime example of why the Panthers' defense has struggled. It was third and 17 and Baker Mayfield slides away from protection and throws a 51-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry with two defenders around him. Carolina has been bad defensively at third-down efficiency and bad at giving up plays over the top. Score tied 14-14.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers have struggled to force turnovers on the road this season. They got their second fumble recovery in two weeks today and took advantage with Christian McCaffrey's second touchdown run. Defense has tightened up since the opening drive that was a disaster.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

On Ron Rivera's first three plays as the defensive play caller the Panthers gave up a 66-yard pass completion and had an offsides penalty. On the fourth receiver Jarvis Landry scored on a three-yard run. It goes to show you that ultimately players have to perform, and that has been a downfall this season for Carolina's defense.

Team Stats

Passing Yards240.7
Rushing Yards137.4
Points For24.9
Points Against25.5