Cam Newton threw an incomplete pass on a 2-point conversion with 1:07 left, letting the Detroit Lions hold on for a 20-19 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Cam Newton had time and receiver Jarius Wright open in the end zone, but the star quarterback sailed the pass high. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera went for the win after Newton threw his third touchdown pass to DJ Moore, perhaps because usually reliable kicker Graham Gano missed an extra point and a field goal earlier in the game.
“I think you go for 2 on the road,” Rivera said.
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia insisted he wasn’t surprised by Ron Rivera decision.
“They had good momentum going into that situation,” Patricia said.
The Detroit Lions (4-6) recovered an onside kick to seal the victory and end a season-high three-game losing streak. They were in a position to win after Matthew Stafford threw a go-ahead, 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay with 5:19 left. Stafford rolled to his right and threw toward the end zone, connecting with Golladay, who leaped just inside the 5 and landed in the end zone with a score that stood after review.
The Carolina Panthers (6-4) have lost two straight for the first time this season.
Cam Newton was 25 of 37 for 357 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Moore had seven receptions for 157 yards and a score.
Matthew Stafford was 23 of 37 for 220 yards with a touchdown. Golladay had eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton left the game briefly in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury. CB Donte Jackson went out in the second quarter with what looked like an ankle injury, but returned.
Detroit Lions: Detroit Lions rookie RB Kerryon Johnson left in the third with a left knee injury and didn’t return after running for 87 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Carolina Panthers: Host Seattle on Sunday.
Detroit Lions: Host Chicago on Thursday.