People often say "the best defense is a good offense." For the Carolina Panthers on Friday, it was precisely the opposite.
Powered by four turnovers – three of them going the other way for touchdowns – Ron Rivera's team was able to edge the Baltimore Ravens 34-27 on their home field.
The Panthers only non-defensive touchdown was a 71-yard punt return by Ted Ginn Jr. in the first quarter.
Linebacker – and 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year – Luke Kuechly led the opportunistic Carolina defense with seven tackles, one interception and a forced fumble that led to a Thomas Davis touchdown in the second quarter.
Cornerbacks Drayton Florence and D.J. Moore also returned interceptions for scores in the second and third quarters, respectively.
If the Panthers had any semblance of an offense, they might have laid 50 points on the defending Super Bowl Champions. The offense sputtered for the third straight preseason game, albeit not showing any of the read-option package that has become such a big part of the team's attack over the past two seasons.
Cam Newton played three quarters, finishing 10 of 19 for 99 yards. The third-year signal caller added 20 yards on two rushes, but failed to build any momentum with the first-team unit.
The offensive line failed to open many holes in the ground game, as DeAngelo Williams and Kenjon Barner combined for a measly nine yards on six carries.
Jimmy Clausen played the final quarter, attempting just four passes and completing two for 20 yards.
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