The Carolina Panthers seethed with frustration Sunday after a dramatic, last-second loss to the visiting Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle kicker Sebastian Janikowski knocked through the winning field goal as time expired for a 30-27 victory.
It was the third loss in a row for Carolina (6-5) and the frustration was palpable because all the pieces are in place for the Panthers to be winning more than they are.
“That right there sums it up,” Carolina tight end Greg Olsen said.
Carolina’s running game hummed behind Christian McCaffrey’s 112 yards on 17 carries. Cam Newton completed 25 of 30 passes for 256 yards and a rating of 110.6. The Panthers punted once for 55 yards, and it was downed inside the Seattle 20.
The defense held Seattle to 75 yards on the ground and the NFL’s ninth-leading rusher, Chris Carson, was limited to 55 yards on 16 carries. In winning six games this season, the defense allowed 75.2 yards rushing per game.
Yet, it was another stinging defeat.
“We’ve just got to keep going,” cornerback Corn Elder said, a sentiment heard numerous times after the brutal loss and one echoed by Julius Peppers.
“The main thing for us is that we have to regroup, put this behind us and focus on what’s next,” said Peppers, a defensive end.
Newton said: “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We just have to turn the page and get ready for our next opponent.”
• SEIZING THE MOMENT: The Panthers entered the Seattle game minus top receiver Devin Funchess (back injury) and then lost wideout Damiere Byrd to an arm injury early in the second quarter.
That presented rookie receiver D.J. Moore with an opportunity that he seized with gusto.
The first-year player out of Maryland responded with eight catches for 91 yards with a long of 28. The week before in a loss at Detroit, Moore had 157 receiving yards, the most for Carolina in a game since Steve Smith accounted for 181 against Chicago in 2011.
“I think he is right where you would hope he would be, contributing the way he has,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. “He has made a lot of plays for us. He is showing he is an explosive player. He is a dynamic player and a player like that gives a chance to win football games. We have to take advantage of that skill set.”
• INJURY IMPACT: When cornerback Donte Jackson suffered a quad injury on the first play of the game and his running mate at the other cornerback, James Bradberry, was injured, it meant the Panthers had to make adjustments.
Elder took over for Jackson and Captain Munnerlyn replaced Bradberry.
Carolina began playing more of its big nickel package to try and take some of the pressure off the two replacements. It didn’t work as Elder and Munnerlyn surrendered plays that decided the game’s outcome.
“When it gets down to crunch time and you want to do certain things, you’ve got to leave them out there,” Rivera said.
• BACK IN STATE: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who played at North Carolina State, passed for 339 yards on 22 of 31 completions. He was particularly effective late in the game when he rallied his team to a tie and the eventual victory.
“On a day when we couldn’t run the ball like we have been and needed a throwing game, Russ came through and had a great day throwing the football,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He did a wonderful job making plays down the stretch when we had to have them.”
• NOT MUCH: Carolina scored a league-low 13 points in the third quarter this season entering the Seattle game. It put a touchdown on the board vs. Seattle, but Newton threw his only interception in that period.
By Jerome Richard