Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gono kicked a 48-yard field goal as the time expired to hand the New England Patriots a 33-30 loss – their second loss of the season.
It looked as if the Patriots were going to get the ball back when defensive end Deatrich Wise sacked quarterback Cam Newton on third down – but cornerback Stephon Gilmore was called for illegal hands to the face for the second time during the game and the fourth time through the last two games.
The call resulted in a Panthers automatic first down that allowed them to get into field goal range for Gano to seal the win.
Here’s how it all went down:
New England started the game with quarterback Tom Brady completing his first four passes, which included two to wide receiver Danny Amendola. Wide receiver Chris Hogan could not pick up enough yards for a first down on third-and-10 so the team settled for a 41-yard field goal.
Carolina’s first drive was similar to New England’s – even ending in a field goal for a 3-3 tie before the Pats found the end zone thanks to tight end Rob Gronkowski for a 10-3 lead and a wonderful touch down celebration.
Much like the first drive, Carolina copied New England and found the back of the end zone after safety Devin McCourty and Gilmore allowed Panthers running back Fozzy Whittaker to run 28 yards untouched to tie the game at 10.
New England kicker Stephen Gostowski booted his second and third field goals of the game – but due to the mess of the secondary on the Patriots, Newton connected with wide open wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to pick up 43 yards before he found wide receiver Devin Fuchness for the touchdown and 17-16 lead at halftime.
The third quarter didn’t start so great for New England after Carolina had 68 yards through 11 plays that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Fuchness before scoring on their next drive for a 14-point lead.
The Patriots scored again in the fourth quarter after Brady connected with Gronkowski on fourth-and-three before running back Dion Lewis completed the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run to cut the Panthers lead to seven points.
With just over three minutes left in the game, Brady found wide receiver Danny Amendola in the end zone to tie the game at 30. After the touchdown, Amendola grabbed a Julian Edelman flag from a fan that said JE11 and held it up as tribute to the running back.
With four seconds left, the game tied at 30 and Carolina with the ball, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called a timeout – but it didn’t distract Gano, who booted the 48-yard field goal for the 33-30 win and handed New England their second loss of the season.
With the loss, New England fell to 2-2 as the Panthers improved to 3-1 on the season.
Brady threw for 307 total yards with three touchdowns and one interception on the afternoon. He completed 32 of his 45 passes.
The Pats will have just three days to prepare for their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1). Kickoff is slated for 8:25 p.m. from Raymond James Stadium.