Pan­thers win, 23-20, lose Kuechly

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS WEEKEND -

Cam New­ton threw for 192 yards and a touch­down and the host Pan­thers held off New Or­leans’ fourthquar­ter rally to beat the Saints, 23-20, on Thurs­day night in a game marred by in­juries to key play­ers.

New­ton was 14-for-33 and threw a 40-yard touch­down pass to Ted Ginn Jr. to help Carolina (4-6) win for the third time in three games and pull even with New Or­leans for third place in the NFC South.

Jonathan Ste­wart also ran for a touch­down, and Gra­ham Gano had three field goals.

But the win didn’t come with­out a cost.

The Pan­thers lost for­mer NFL De­fen­sive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly (con­cus­sion), two-time All-Pro cen­ter Ryan Kalil (shoul­der), de­fen­sive end Mario Ad­di­son (foot) and cor­ner­back Leonard John­son (chest) to in­juries. Kuechly left the field on a cart while tears streamed down his face.

The Saints lost run­ning back Mark In­gram to a con­cus­sion in the third quar­ter.

The Pan­thers, who sur­ren­dered a 17-point lead and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sun­day, en­tered the fourth quar­ter with a 23-3 lead be­fore in­juries set in.

Drew Brees, who was lim­ited to 171 yards and no touch­downs in the first three quar­ters, ral­lied the Saints to within 23-20, con­nect­ing on touch­down passes to Bran­don Cole­man and Coby Fleener.

Brees threw for 285 yards.

That was a dra­matic dif­fer­ence from the last time the two teams met on Oct. 16, when Brees threw for 465 yards and four touch­downs in a 41-38 win over the Pan­thers. Ex­tra points: A new Har­vard study says the NFL should stop us­ing doc­tors paid by the team to de­ter­mine whether play­ers are able to come back from an in­jury. ... The Rams have bro­ken ground on their bil­lion-dol­lar sta­dium and its sur­round­ing en­ter­tain­ment district on the for­mer site of the Hol­ly­wood Park race­track, next door to the famed Fo­rum. The sta­dium, the first built specif­i­cally for an NFL team in Los An­ge­les, is sched­uled to open in Au­gust 2019. ... Heis­man Tro­phy-win­ning quar­ter­back Johnny Manziel reached a deal with pros­e­cu­tors for the con­di­tional dis­missal of a do­mes­tic as­sault case in­volv­ing his for­mer girl­friend. A judge set an­other hear­ing for Dec. 1, when the case could be set­tled. ... A win at San Fran­cisco on Sun­day would tie Tom Brady with Brett Favre for sec­ond place in ca­reer wins for a quar­ter­back. Favre has 199, one fewer than all-time leader Pey­ton Man­ning. ... Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones said the idea of trad­ing quar­ter­back Tony Romo in the off­sea­son now that he is back­ing up Dak Prescott “is not a con­sid­er­a­tion.” ... Dol­phins cen­ter Mike Pouncey ag­gra­vated a hip in­jury that forced him to miss the first four weeks of the sea­son, and he sat out prac­tice, rais­ing doubts about his sta­tus for Sun­day’s game against the Rams. ... Jaguars line­backer Telvin Smith missed his sec­ond straight prac­tice, leav­ing his sta­tus against the Lions in ques­tion. Smith has been in Val­dosta, Ga., since Mon­day, one day af­ter his brother was shot and killed there.

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