The loss was the third consecutive for the Dolphins (4-5), all coming in prime time on national TV, and drummed up a lot of issues Miami thought it had under control.
Cutler's ill-timed pick set up a Cam Newton touchdown pass that gave the Panthers a 17-7 lead at halftime. It was the most points and rushing yards (294) the Dolphins have allowed in a game this season.
Miami have the NFL's worst offense, with the third-worst ground game.
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The Dolphins own wins in both games played in Charlotte, prevailing 13-9 in 1998 and 24-17 in 2009. Carolina racked up 548 yards of total offense, besting their season average by over 230 yards. "It's a really good time to come out on a Monday night football game".
Newton threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 95 yards. The Dolphins dealt starting running back Jay Ajayi to the Eagles at the trade deadline; he has been replaced in their backfield by Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. However, that momentum didn't carry over, as Cutler had a vintage "Jay Cutler moment" with an overaggressive and unnecessary interception to Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly with 41 seconds left in the first half that took all the energy out of the Dolphins.
Devin Funchess caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers (7-3) remained a half-game behind the NFC South division leading Saints. After almost throwing a bad interception early in the game, the Panthers rattled off multiple scoring drives. There was at least eight plays that I counted in the first half of 12 yards or more by the Panthers offense and it didn't get any better in the second half.