Panthers Claw Way Past Browns, 20-12

The Browns battled long and hard down in Charlotte today, but came up short to the Carolina Panthers, 20-12. Fred Greetham recaps the action as part of the fastest web coverage anywhere...

The Browns wanted to have a better start against the Panthers.

They did. They were only outscored 7-3.

Maybe you can call that baby steps.

After being outscored 27-3 in the first quarter of the first four games, the Browns doubled their production on a 28-yard field goal by Phil Dawson with 5:30 to play in the first quarter to make it 3-0.

However, the rest of the game they were outscored 13-9 and the Browns lost to the Panthers, 20-12 to fall to 1-4 as they approach the bye week.

The Browns took advantage of a mistake the Panthers made in a Browns punting situation. They appeared to be heading for a three-and-out on their first possession, but a penalty on the punt by the Panthers allowed the Browns to continue the drive and they turned it into a field goal. The big play on the drive was a 23-yard reception by Kellen Winslow from Charlie Frye to the Panthers' 27 on third down.

However, before the Browns could enjoy their lead too much, Richard Marshall picked off a Frye pass that went off of Dennis Northcutt's hands for a 30 yard score  and just like that the Panthers had a 7-3 lead with 3:19 left in the first quarter.

The Browns were unable to muster much offense and the Panthers finally got going on their fifth offensive drive. Jake Delhomme found Keyshawn Johnson for a 17-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-3 with 4:28 left in the second quarter. Brodney Pool was covering Johnson on the play and had pretty good coverage, but Delhomme placed the ball perfectly.

Julius Peppers sacked Frye with 17 seconds to play in the first half and recovered the ball in Browns' territory, but John Kasay missed a 53-yard field goal as time expired. 

On a fumble by Marshall after a Browns punt was recovered by the Browns, but reversed, the Panthers capitalized and added a field goal by Kasay with 10:13 left in the third quarter to make it 17-3.

Trailing 17-3, it was Joshua Cribbs once again, who ignited the Browns with a 61-yard return to the Panthers' 30. However, the Browns offense stalled on third-and-inches, as they tried a trick play. The Browns were forced to kick a 47-yard field goal from Dawson to make it 17-6 with 8:07 to play in the third quarter.

After a 34-yard punt return by Cribbs, the Browns settled for Dawson's third field goal of the game from 22 yards out to pull within eight at 17-9 with to play with 12:54 to play in the game.

But that was the closest the Browns could get.

The Panthers put the game away with 4:03 to play as Kasay kicked a field goal from 19 yards to make it 20-9.

Frye threw his second interception of the game as the Browns were driving to end any thought of the Browns coming back. They did get the ball back and were able to get

Dawson to kick his fourth field goal to make it 20-12 with just five seconds remaining.

Rather than kicking an onside kick, the browns kicked long and the Panthers downed it to close the game.

The OBR Top Stories