There were only field goals in the first half when the starters were on the field, and Carolina defeated New England 25-14 at Charlotte, N.C., in both teams’ third preseason game.
It was 9-3 at halftime, with Graham Gano of the Panthers connecting from 21, 38 and 23 yards, the latter on the final play of the first half.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton missed time in the first quarter after diving for a first down landing awkwardly on his head and neck. He left the field to be evaluated but returned a few plays later.
New England scored on Stephen Gostkowski’s 27-yard field goal, but quarterback Tom Brady couldn’t get the Patriots into the end zone while getting just three possessions before halftime.
Brady and Newton both sat out the second half. Brady finished 12 of 18 for 102 yards, while Newton was 11 of 17 for 142 yards.
The Panthers had a first-quarter drive that lasted 16 plays and accounted for 77 yards and a field goal, taking 9:59 off the clock.
Gano added a 47-yard field goal in the third quarter, six minutes after backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke scored on a 1-yard run. Garrett Gilbert made his bid to be Newton’s backup with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mose Frazier in the fourth quarter.
Mike Gillislee scored the lone touchdown for New England, from 2 yards out late in the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media