CHARLOTTE, N.C.- Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan knew even before the game started that if the Panthers where going to win it was going to be on the defensive side of the ball.
"We said before the game, it's going to come down to which defense allows the least amount of points. We were right. We allowed the least amount of points and won the game. I think we showed the kind of defense we can be this season," said Morgan.
Morgan co-lead the team in tackles with seven unassisted tackles and one assist. But he made the play to win the game with a big interception after the Ravens took over at the Baltimore 41 with 1:55 remaining, needing a field goal to tie and a touchdown to win in regulation. On the last drive Morgan look the game over. On first down, Morgan stopped Jamal Lewis for a 1-yard gain. On second down, Morgan tackled tight end Todd Heap after a 5-yard pass reception. And on third and 4 from the 47, defensive end Julius Peppers tipped a Redman pass and Morgan came up with the interception at the 39, then ran it back to the 17.
"I was coming off the edge on the blitz, and I saw Peppers come in, and when the ball popped up I just grabbed it," Morgan said. "I didn't want to get tripped up and maybe fumble, so I just went down. I knew the moment I caught it that we had won the game."
Morgan knows that this win will give the Panthers a lot of confidence win the first game, but they did that last season and then lost 15 straight, he is not going to let that happen again.
"It's real big starting off with a victory like this, you get a lot of confidence going into the season, especially winning like that in the fourth quarter. But we have to continue to work hard, we know what it feels like to lose 15 straight, and we're not going to let that happen again," said Morgan.