Panthers lose to Ravens in Mayfield’s return, doomed by late turnovers
The game was tied 3-3 before Carolina’s offense self-imploded in the final minutes.
BALTIMORE, Md. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers fought hard against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday before a late fumble doomed the team’s chances of winning in what would turn out to be a 13-3 loss.
Entering the fourth quarter of the cross-conference matchup, the two teams were locked up in a 3-3 tie before a Justin Tucker field goal gave Baltimore a three-point lead. On the ensuing Panthers drive, wide receiver Shi Smith coughed up the football, giving the Ravens the ball on the Carolina 31-yard line with less than eight minutes to play.
Three plays later, a three-point game suddenly became a 10-point deficit - an insurmountable one for an offense that has proven to be as ineffective as the Panthers’.
Defensively, Carolina played well, holding the Ravens to only a pair of field goals before the fourth-quarter touchdown, and contained superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson throughout most of the afternoon.
Jeremy Chinn racked up 10 tackles in his return from injured reserve, and Brian Burns added two sacks, bringing his season total to eight, one short of a career-high, with six games to go.
Offensively, quarterback Baker Mayfield’s return to the starting lineup didn’t provide the boost the Panthers were hoping for.
In his first start since the embarrassing Week 5 loss to San Francisco, he avoided making any turnovers through the first three and a half quarters, but was unable to move the ball consistently and threw two late interceptions. He finished the game 21 of 33 passing for 196 yards and no touchdowns.
The issues didn’t lie only with Mayfield though, as the offense as a whole remained ineffective, tallying only 205 total yards. Two sacks late in the game all but ended any hope of a comeback.
Running back D’Onta Foreman, who has turned out to be a relatively bright spot for the Panthers this season, also struggled Sunday, rushing 11 times for only 24 yards.
Carolina now sits 3-8 on the season and is 2.5 games out of first place in the NFC South.
Next up on the schedule is a home date with the Denver Broncos on Sunday before the team’s Week 13 bye.
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