Miami Dolphins

Rapid Recap- Panthers manhandle Dolphins to third loss in row

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports


Three straight prime time games and three straight losses, as the Carolina Panthers humbled the Dolphins on Monday Night, this time the Panthers won going away 45-21.

Miami was hoping to get off to a hot start but struggled with early offense and Carolina got a quick field goal.

Later, the Panthers increased their 3-0 lead with a time consuming drive that culminated with rookie RB Christian McCaffery taking it in from four yards out:

The Fins offense would respond with a lengthy drive of their own going 75 yards in 10 plays. RB Damien Williams got loose on a couple of solid runs and then, a 15 yard catch and run to the Panthers 23 yard line.

Eventually, the drive moved inside the five and on  second and goal:

Julius Thomas took in the shovel pass on a great misdirection play and Miami was within three at 10-7. Cutler showed life on that drive, and finished with two TD passes.

However, late in the first half, Cutler made his first huge mistake of the night throwing a bad interception that Carolina LB Luke Kuechly played perfectly. He went down at the Miami 35 and a Dolphin personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct pushed the ball to the 20.

It didn’t take Newton long to capitalize with a seven yard toss to TE Ed Dickson and it was 17-7 at the break.

The Panthers never looked back.

They took the opening kickoff of the second half and immediately marched 78 yards in just eight plays with Newton finding Devon Funchess here:

The 28 yard catch and run for the next TD gave Carolina the largest lead to that point 24-7.

The Miami offense tried to get something going, but  it was Kuechly showed again why he’s arguably the best linebacker in football. First he single-handedly ran down Jarvis Landry in the flat to keep him from getting a fist down. Then he combined with Kwane Short on stuffing Damien Williams on the ensuing fourth and one and the Panthers had the ball, again.

Backup RB Cameron Artis-Payne cashed that next opportunity in, scoring from 12 yards out and the issue was all but settled at 31-7.

The Dolphins got a glimmer of hope/highlight when Kenyan Drake raced 66 yards for  quick TD on the longest play of the year for the Dolphins and the first rushing TD for Miami on the season. But, it wasn’t nearly enough.

But Newton squelched that by throwing two more TD passes to McCaffery and again, to Funchess for a 45-14 lead.

Miami got a late garbage TD on a pass from Cutler to Jarvis Landry to pad their stats.

The Dolphins dropped to 4-5 on the year and are clearly on the verge of seeing their season go down the drain. They will host the Bucs on Sunday afternoon.

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