Cam Newton started the first three drives and threw a touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell; however, also threw a pick six to Bears linebacker Jon Bostic. Jay Cutler wasn't much better, throwing an interception to Josh Norman.
Norman was one of the stars of the game, grabbing two interceptions and returning one 60 yards for a touchdown that ended up being the difference in the game. Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader praised the team's defensive performance:
Norman had an incredible night, taking the first pass from Bears QB Jay Cutler into a interception. He stayed on fire the rest of the night, racking up two tackles and an interception for a touchdown on third-string QB Matt Blanchard.
As great as Norman was, the defensive line was even better. The whole defense had 7 sacks on the night, and the line alone accumulated 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and numerous pressures. DE Charles Johnson and DE Greg Hardy picked up where they left off, constantly pressuring Jay Cutler. The rookie defensive duo also stood out, as DT Star Lotulelei and DT Kawann Short were constantly in the backfield, with the later notching half a sack.
Bears backup quarterback Matt Blanchard completed 15-of-18 passes for 194 yards, but had an interception and absorbed five sacks. A four-yard touchdown from Michael Ford was one of the few bright spots. Bears blog Windy City Gridiron was more worried about losing defensive tackle Henry Melton to a concussion and long snapper Patrick Mannelly to a rib injury.