Patriots fall 33-30 to Panthers on walk-off field goal

Steven Senne / AP Photo

The Patriots lost a heartbreaker to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, mounting a 14-point comeback in the fourth only to lose on a walk-off 48-yard field goal from Graham Gano.

Tom Brady had another solid outing, completing 32 of 45 attempts for 307 yards and a pair of scores. However, the real story of the game was Cam Newton's monster performance and the Patriots' failure to stop him--the Carolina signal-caller racked up 316 yards and 3 TDs through the air while running eight times for another 44 yards and a fourth score.

Rob Gronkowski paced New England with 80 receiving yards, while Chris Hogan put up a 5/60/1 line and Danny Amendola caught 6 balls for 42 yards and a score. But for most of the day, the Pats struggled to move the ball consistently down the field, instead relying on dink-and-dunk balls underneath (running back James White was targeted 12 times and hauled in 10 for only 47 yards). With the Pats O-line struggling to protect Brady--the Panthers recorded 3 sacks and 7 additional QB hits--the inability to stay ahead of the chains proved fatal.

The Patriots will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. After the Bills' win over the Falcons today, they will be fighting to keep pace in the AFC East divisional race.

Like what you read? Read more by me here, and follow me on Twitter @AidanStenson!