Storylines and Result
Carolina was expected to handle the Titans in this game and while they won, it was a closer game than the final score might indicate. The Panthers won by a score of 27-10 in Nissan Stadium but went into halftime ahead 14-10.
After consecutive scoring drives in the first half, the Titans failed to find any offensive momentum against a strong Panthers defense. Carolina smothered Tennessee in the third and fourth quarters, forcing the Titans to punt three times and turn the ball over twice on their five second-half drives.
The Panthers found their rhythm on offense in the second half and slowly started to break down the Titans defense. Carolina opened up the third quarter with two straight punts, but pieced together three consecutive scoring drives that effectively iced the game.
The stories of these two franchises in 2015 could not be any different. The Panthers had carried a fantastic defense and a career-best year from their franchise quarterback into a 9-0 start, with their sights set on a deep playoff run. Cam Newton was in talks to win MVP, Ron Rivera was being talked about like a coach of the year candidate and everything was pointing to a historic year from the Panthers.
The Titans were… not that. Tennessee had fallen to 2-7 after the game and was in desperate need of help at just about every position. Most fans were confident the team had their quarterback of the future in Mariota, but figured that it would take time to build the offense into a contender.
The defense, while okay statistically, was also in need of some assistance after struggling to keep teams out the endzone in 2015.
With their head coach fired and help needed on both sides of the ball, the only note of positivity for the Titans was that they were front runners for the first overall pick in 2016 after the loss to Carolina.