Panthers, Mayfield fall short against Browns in opener despite big fourth quarter
Carolina fell 26-24 despite scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers made a late push against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon in the season opener, but left too much time on the clock for Jacoby Brissett and the Browns offense.
Carolina scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, but the offensive woes throughout the first three quarters proved too much to overcome in what ended up being a 26-24 loss.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield came to life in the final period, finishing the game with two total touchdowns and 235 passing yards in his first regular-season start with the franchise. He also threw one interception.
Cleveland took a 17-7 lead into the half, and appeared to have the game under control until midway through the fourth quarter when Mayfield hit wide receiver Robbie Anderson for a 75-yard score that cut the deficit to 23-21 with just over six minutes remaining.
The Browns then turned to their vaunted rushing attack to try and seal the game, but were forced to punt with 2:21 to go, giving Mayfield one final shot at taking the lead. He did that, leading the offense to an Eddy Piñeiro field goal to go up 24-23, but left the Browns just over one minute to win the game.
Brissett, who spent most of his collegiate career at NC State, drove the Browns offense 35 yards down the field to set up a game-winning 58-yard kick for rookie kicker Cole York.
The Panthers will face the New York Giants next Sunday on the road.
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