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Third straight loss a ‘slap’ to Panthers’ playoff hopes

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Forty-four seconds remained and the Seattle Seahawks were running the clock down for the game-winning field goal when in the stunned silence of Bank of America Stadium a fan shouted: “You guys are horrible.”

It reverberated so loudly you could hear it through the thick glass that separates the press box from the crowd.

There was a tone of lost hope in the voice of the fan, who a month ago had to be on top of the world as the Carolina Panthers were 6-2 and seemingly a lock for the playoffs.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Now, after Sunday’s 30-27 loss dropped them to 6-5, they are fighting for their playoff lives.

Quarterback Cam Newton likely wouldn’t agree the Panthers are “horrible” because the Panthers did a lot of things well this day, but he probably would understand the fan’s frustration.4

Running back Christian McCaffrey set a franchise record with 237 yards from the line of scrimmage, rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and catching 11 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.

He became only the second player since 2011 to top 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game. He became the first since Arian Foster in 2011 to top 100 yards rushing and receiving and have a touchdown in both categories.

It was a Herculean effort.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

But those efforts couldn’t overcome the mistakes that have plagued this team during the losing streak. Graham Gano, who had strep throat this week, missed a 52-yard field goal with just over a minute left on the same field where he connected from 63 yards to beat the Giants earlier this season.

The Panthers scored only 13 points on their first five trips inside the red zone after coming into the game ranked first in the NFC and third in the NFL in red zone efficiency. Newton had an interception on one of those missed opportunities.

The defense gave up 339 yards passing and two touchdowns to Russell Wilson, who was averaging less than 200 yards passing coming into the game.

Afterward, tight end Greg Olsen called the loss about as “brutal” as they come. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, forced to play more outside when starter Donte Jackson suffered a game-ending quad injury on the first play, repeatedly said “we’ve got to get out of this funk.”

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