- 2006 Carolina Panthers season
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
The Panthers beat the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers26-24, with the help of two touchdowns (1 receiving, 1 rushing) from former Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnsonand four long field goals from Kicker John Kasay. Kasay was the first kicker to go 4 for 4 in a game on field goals more than 46 yards. Steve Smith returned, catching 7 passes for 102 yards, and QB Jake Delhommethrew his first touchdown pass of the season. With their first victory, the Panthers are 1-2.
Week 4: vs. New Orleans Saints
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
The Carolina Panthers earned their fourth straight victory by defeating the
Baltimore Ravensat M&T Bank Stadium23-21. QB Jake Delhommepassed for a career-high 365 yards while WR Steve Smith racked up 189 receiving yards and a touchdown, including a 72-yarder late in the fourth quarter. Also, WR Drew Carterhad 4 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. Ravens quarterback Kyle Bollerthrew two touchdowns to WR Mark Clayton that both came off tips by the Panthers secondary after Ravens starter Steve McNairleft the game in the first quarter with a concussion. With the victory, the Panthers improved to 4-2 and second in the NFC South, trailing the 5-1 Saints by one game.
Week 7: at Cincinnati Bengals
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Coming off their Bye Week, the Panthers stayed at home for an NFC South rematch with the
Tampa Bay Buccaneerson Monday Night Football. In the first quarter, Carolina trailed early as QB Bruce Gradkowskicompleted a 6-yard TD pass to WR Ike Hilliardfor the only score of the first quarter and of the first half. In the third quarter, the Panthers struck back with kicker John Kasaycompleting a 28-yard field goal. Afterwards, QB Jake Delhommecompleted a 4-yard TD pass to WR Keyshawn Johnson, followed up by FB Brad Hoover's 5-yard TD run. In the third quarter, Tampa Bay tried to come back as kicker Matt Bryantnailed a 28-yard field goal. Fortunately, Carolina managed to put the game away as Delhomme completed a 36-yard TD pass to WR Steve Smith. With the win, the Panthers improved to 5-4.
Week 11: vs. St. Louis Rams
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Redskins, the Panthers flew to
Lincoln Financial Fieldfor a Monday Night fight with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the scrappy first quarter, Carolina struck first with QB Jake Delhommecompleting a 9-yard TD pass to WR Steve Smith for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Eagles responded with QB Jeff Garciacompleting an 8-yard TD pass to RB Brian Westbrook. Fortunately, the Panthers would regain before the half with Delhomme completing a 1-yard TD pass to the back corner of the endzone, caught by WR Keyshawn Johnson. In the third quarter, Philadelphia struck back with Garcia completing a 30-yard TD pass to WR Donte' Stallworth. Yet again, Carolina regained the lead with Delhomme completing a 35-yard TD screen pass to rookie RB DeAngelo Williams, who rushed well after a shaky first quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Eagles crept closer with kicker David Akersgetting a 28-yard field goal. The Panthers responded with kicker John Kasaygetting a 45-yard field goal. Philadelphia would respond with Garcia completing a 40-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Brown. Then, things got grim when Delhomme got intercepted by Free Safety Brian Dawkinsunder pressure in the pocket, which led to Akers kicking a 25-yard field goal. Carolina tried to fight back as they marched deep into Philly territory, but came up short when Delhomme got intercepted again by cornerback Lito Sheppardin almost the same spot where Keyshawn Johnsonmade the earlier TD completion. Johnson claimed pass interference from Sheppard, but an official review decided this was not the case. With the loss, not only did the Panthers fall to 6-6, but it also marked the 5th time this season the Panthers had the lead going into the fourth quarter and lost. In many Panther's fans minds there was much pass interference and Shepard never had possession anyway.
Week 14: vs. New York Giants
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
The Panthers visited NFC South rival Atlanta in a bid to keep their fading playoff hopes alive.
Chris Weinkecontinued to start at QB in place of injured stater Jake Delhomme. The Falcons opened the scoring with a field goal from NFL legend Morten Andersenwhich set the all-time record for field goals, cementing the Dane's place in league history. The Panthers opened the game with several running plays which would set the tone for the game. The Panthers' drive stretched into the 2ndquarter where they scored on a 1-yard pass from Weinke to sparingly used TE Jeff King. Kicker John Kasaywould later extend the lead to 7 with a field goal. The game ended 10-3. In total the Panthers only passed 7 times, connecting on 4. The Panthers ran the ball 52 times, including many from the archaic single-wing formation.
However, even though the Panthers improved to 7-8 with their win, they would fall out of the playoff race with Atlanta with the
New York Giants' Week 17 Saturday night win over the Washington Redskins.
Week 17: at New Orleans Saints
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Panthers arrived in New Orleans to face off with the Saints. On the Saints' first drive,
Reggie Bushscored a touchdown to give the Saints an early lead. The Panthers came right back with a pass to Steve Smith for the score. In the second quarter, Jamie Martin passed left short to Jamaal Branchfor a touchdown for the Saints. The Panthers responded once again with DeShaun Fosterrunning into the end zone to tie the game at 14. Martin then made an interception and returned the ball for a touchdown to give the Panthers the lead. On the Panthers' next offensive possession, Jake Delhommemade a short pass to Smith to give the Panthers a 28-14 lead. The Saints cut the deficit in half when Fred McAfeerushed up the middle for a touchdown. The Panthers kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter which ended the scoring to give Carolina a 31-21 victory. This win closed out the Panthers' disappointing season at 8-8.
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