The Carolina Panthers connected on one of the most electrifying plays of the regular season so far but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and missed extra-point attempt forced overtime instead of a win.
D.J. Moore’s touchdown catch from P.J. Walker with a few seconds left in the game tied it up. But he took off his helmet during the celebration and cost his team 15 yards on the PAT. Eddy Pineiro missed the kick and the Panthers would later lose in overtime to the Atlanta Falcons, 37-34.
Moore was on the bench alone after the game, trying to process what happened.
“What would’ve happened if I didn’t take my helmet off?” Moore said. “I went back to what happened. That’s about it.”
Moore tried to explain his excitement in the moment of a big game in which the extra point would’ve put them on top of the NFC South.
PANTHERS’ WILD HAIL MARY TOUCHDOWN WASTED AS PENALTY AND KICKING WOES LEAD TO FALCONS WIN
“It was a natural reaction, but you’ve still got to know you can’t do that, especially with the time left on the clock,” Moore said. “I had a post, and they started scrambling. I didn’t see the ball in the air yet and seen him launch it and reaccelerated and just made a play. After that, I just remember the flag and the ref coming up to me.”
Pineiro blamed himself for the loss as well. He had a chance to win the game in overtime but missed the field goal.
“I just came across it,” he said. “My hips came across it. I should’ve kept my hips forward and I just kind came across the ball.”
He added: “I’ve just got to make the kick. There’s no excuses. I’ve got to face this. It’s on me. They fought hard. I put this on myself.”
With the win, the Falcons moved to first place of the NFC South. Carolina fell to 2-6.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read the full article here