Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) recovers a fumble and celebrates with strong safety Robert Lester (38) and defensive tackle Colin Cole (91) as New England Patriots tackle Nate Solder (77) is in the foreground in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers 24, New England Patriots 20

The Carolina Panthers racked up a second consecutive “signature” win with a 24-20 victory over the re-energized New England Patriots Monday night.

This game lived up to its’ billing in most respects and went down to the final play.

With three seconds left at the Panthers’ 17 yard line, Tom Brady threw an interception in the end zone as time expired. A flag on the play for holding or pass interference was waived off because, as it turns out, the ball was not “catchable” because of the fact the interception was well in front of Rob Gronkowski on the play because he was near the end line and Robert Lester intercepted the ball a good 6 yards in front of him.

Of course, the post-game “analysts” tried to say the flag was legit, but that’s Trent Dilfer and Steve Young – two former quarterbacks – doing the talking. An official on-air as the game ended said the wave-off was the correct call under the rules and the way the play happened. These talking heads can complain all they want as former QBs but need to learn the rules before offering incorrect opinions.

As for the action on the field, the Panthers took an early lead, but the game went back and forth until finally the Patriots took a 20-17 lead with 4 and a half minutes remaining.

Cam Newton rose to the occasion.

Knowing Tom Brady’s legendary ability to lead his team to game-winning drives, Rivera and Newton methodically drove the ball down the field and scored with about a minute left on one of those “out” patterns I’ve been talking about that Cam loves. He hit Ted Ginn, who slipped a defender and turned on the jets to score on a 25 yard catch and dash.

Cam missed on a couple of passes in the 4th quarter, but overall was very effective. He went 19 for 28 for 209 yards, 3 TDs, and no interceptions. He added 62 yards on 7 carries with two key first-down dashes on the final drive of the game.

Brady, for his part, had a good night as well. He was 29/40 for 296 yards and a TD and an interception.

The Panthers travel to Miami next week and are 7-3, breathing right down the necks of the New Orleans Saints.

Oh – and Tom Brady was walking off the field right next to an official, jawing at him the entire time.

Nah…he’s not the league crybaby at all is he?

Keep pounding and GO PANTHERS!!!

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

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