Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals game recap: Everything we know

The Carolina Panthers organization did a fine job of honoring legendary linebacker Sam Mills in Week 4. But did they do the same on the field against the Arizona Cardinals in their “Keep Pounding Game?”

Final score: Cardinals 26, Panthers 16

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Keys to the game

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  • The Panthers offense remains frighteningly ineffective, and the Cardinals took advantage of that. Quarterback Baker Mayfield continued his struggles, completing 22 of his 36 attempts for 197 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He, once again, derailed the outing with a handful of high misses and batted balls.

  • Running back Christian McCaffrey was also bottled up for the majority of this one. While he did reel in nine receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown, the dynamic rusher got almost nothing done on the ground (eight attempts, 27 yards).

  • Arizona just simply put a stranglehold on Carolina in the second half. Their dominance in the final two quarters gave them victories in the battles for time of possession (38:35 to 21:25), first downs (20 to 11) and turnovers (three to one).

It was over when . . .

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Down three with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game, Mayfield and the Panthers offense began an important drive from the Arizona 25-yard line. But that drive was over as quickly as it began, as Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt squatted a Mayfield pass on the drive’s first play and left the pigskin up in the air for linebacker Dennis Gardeck.

Two plays following the interception, Murray rushed into the end zone from the Panthers’ 4-yard line for an easy six points to push the score to 20-10—a seemingly insurmountable deficit for the unit.

Players of the game

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  • LB Frankie Luvu: 11 tackles, one interception (touchdown)

  • DE Brian Burns: seven tackles (three for loss)

  • RB Christian McCaffrey: eight rushing attempts, 27 rushing yards, nine receptions, 81 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown

What's next?

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The path doesn’t get easier for the 1-3 Panthers next week, with an even tougher NFC West opponent ahead. Week 5 will see the San Francisco 49ers come to Bank of America Stadium for a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff next Sunday.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire