|Written by Mike|
Bet on the NFLWhile the Carolina Panthers might be 6-8-1, they have taken the lead in the NFC South. The Panthers will be heading to Atlanta on Sunday to take on the 6-9 Falcons in a winner-take-all game to determine the division champion.
The Panthers took the lead in the division this past Sunday in Charlotte with a 17-13 victory against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns dropped to 7-8 after losing their fourth game in a row. The Panthers did not cover the -6 spread but still managed to give the Browns another loss.
Much of the talk of this game was dominated by quarterback injuries. There were concerns over how Carolina's Cam Newton would play after being injured in a car wreck not too long ago. Newton had a very strong comeback performance as he went 18-31 for 201 passing yards and one passing and one rushing touchdown each. He did have a fumble and an interception during the game though.
For the Browns, Johnny Manziel was injured with a hamstring issue and left late in the second quarter. He ended the day 3-8 with 32 passing yards. Manziel has already been ruled out for next week's game as Connor Shaw will be coming up from the practice squad to play.
The game was rather close up to the fourth quarter when the teams exchanged leads. The Browns' Brian Hoyer had an 81-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Cameron at the start of the quarter. The Panthers responded with a touchdown pass to Jonathan Stewart on the next drive.
One play later, the Panthers' Josh Norman appeared to have landed an interception. The initial ruling at the end of the play stated that he fumbled the ball at the end and that the Browns recovered it but the challenge found that it was a fumble that was recovered by the Browns. The Browns had to punt the ball away not long after that as the Panthers would run out the clock after that.
Jonathan Stewart had 112 rushing yards for the Panthers. Brian Hoyer went 7-13 for the Browns and had 134 passing yards. Still, the Browns were only 3-12 on third downs.