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Panthers rally as 'Boom' goes bust

Carolina’s Greg Olsen, right, is congratulated by fellow tight end Ed Dickson after catching the winning touchdown with 32 seconds remaining to keep the Panthers unbeaten.

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Carolina’s Greg Olsen, right, is congratulated by fellow tight end Ed Dickson after catching the winning touchdown with 32 seconds remaining to keep the Panthers unbeaten.

SEATTLE — Cam Newton sang and danced in celebration. And when he stopped, he gave Greg Olsen a hard time for twice being brought down at the 1-yard line before finally getting in the end zone when it mattered most.

This one meant a little more for the Panthers, winning on the home field of the two-time defending NFC champions.

"This was one of the bigger victories we've had since I've been here," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said.

Newton capped Carolina's fourth-quarter rally with a 26-yard touchdown to tight end Olsen with 32 seconds left, and the Panthers improved to 5-0, rallying for a stunning 27-23 win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

Down 23-14, Carolina went 80 yards on each of its final two drives for touchdowns that left the Panthers jubilant and the Seahawks stinging about a second straight fourth-quarter collapse.

Carolina winning its first four games was impressive. But this victory adds the validity.

"It's a great win, but it does only count for one," Olsen said. "That's the reality of this business. But it felt good. We've had our battles against these guys."

Newton was 12-of-15 for 169 yards in the fourth quarter and threw for 269 yards overall. His first 80-yard drive in the final quarter resulted in Jonathan Stewart's second 1-yard touchdown run with 3:55 left to cut Seattle's lead to 23-20. But former Florida State kicker Graham Gano pulled the extra point wide left.

After Carolina forced a punt, Newton led a final 80-yard scoring drive that left Seattle stunned for the second straight week.

On the winning score, Olsen was so open because of mixed signals in Seattle's secondary. Cornerback Richard Sherman got one call from the sideline while safety Earl Thomas and others got a different call.

Russell Wilson threw for 239 yards and found tight end Jimmie Graham eight times for 140 yards, but Seattle lost at home for just the second time in two seasons.

Seattle came into the weekend ranked fifth in total defense but is being outscored 61-27 in the fourth quarter and overtime and 40-3 the past three games. That includes a loss last week at Cincinnati, when the defense — and a secondary whose stellar play the past few seasons earned the nickname "Legion of Boom" — squandered a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a loss to the Bengals.

"It's very frustrating, especially when you know we had them," Thomas said. "We don't (stink). We know who we are. We're not finishing. We know we're going to be in those pressure situations every game."

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Panthers rally as 'Boom' goes bust 10/18/15 [Last modified: Sunday, October 18, 2015 10:21pm]
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