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Late score leads Panthers over Bears

Oct 5, 2014 - 11:49 PM Charlotte, NC ( - Greg Olsen's second touchdown catch of the game late in the fourth quarter led the Carolina Panthers to a 31-24 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Olsen had six catches for 72 yards while Cam Newton went 19-for-35 for 255 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while also losing a fumble for the Panthers (3-2), who ended a two-game slide.

Matt Forte had 12 catches for 105 yards and a score, while adding 17 carries for 61 yards for the Bears (2-3), but had a late fumble that led to Carolina's winning score.

"I've got to take accountability for our failure to get things done in the second half," said Chicago head coach marc Trestman. "We didn't have any significant drives and failed to convert third downs. We just didn't get it done."

Jay Cutler went 28-for-36 with 289 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding a touchdown on the ground and a lost fumble for Chicago, which has lost its last two games.

The Bears held a 24-21 lead and had the ball with six minutes to play, but Cutler went deep and had the ball picked off by Thomas DeCoud, who took the ball 35 yards to the Chicago 32.

Chicago's defense held the Panthers to just six yards, but Graham Gano booted a 44-yard field goal attempt through the uprights to tie the game with 4:29 to play.

The first snap of Chicago's ensuing possession saw Forte fumble the ball and the Panthers recovered at the Chicago 23.

After Olsen converted a 3rd-and-3 with an 11-yard catch, he gave the team the lead with a 6-yard scoring reception for a 31-24 advantage with 2:18 to play.

Facing a 4th-and-21 from his own 34, Cutler fumbled the ball as he was sacked, leading to the Panthers recovering the ball and Newton killing off the rest of the clock with a pair of knees.

"We missed some opportunities and we have to look at correcting some things," said Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. "There's things that are fixable, but we have to fix them if we expect to keep winning games. The guys today, though, scrapped and fought and that's why we won the game."

The first score of the game came on special teams, as the Bears punted the ball away and the returner, Philly Brown, was run into before getting a chance to catch the ball. However, the loose ball sat on the ground, with Brown picking it up and taking it 79 yards for a score and a 7-0 lead just over four minutes in.

Chicago and Carolina then exchanged turnovers, before the Bears tied the game on a 10-yard scoring catch from Forte with 4:31 left in the first quarter.

Newton fumbled the ball on a sack on Carolina's ensuing touch, with the Bears recovering at the Carolina 13 and Cutler taking the ball in himself from 10 yards out for a 14-7 game with 2:13 left in the first period.

A quick three-and-out from the Panthers led to the Bears getting the ball back and going 68 yards over eight plays, with Cutler and Alshon Jeffery getting together on a 25-yard score and a 21-7 lead just over four minutes into the second quarter.

Newton drove his team down to the Chicago 25, but was picked off by Lance Briggs. A 35-yard field goal attempt from Robbie Gould, though went wide right.

The Panthers went right back down the field and made it a one-score game on a 9-yard scoring catch by Olsen from Newton with just 12 seconds to play in the half.

Carolina's first possession of the second half saw the team tie the game, as a 10-play, 86-yard march was finished off by a Chris Ogbonnaya 1-yard run up the middle with 7:16 left in the third quarter.

A 45-yard field goal from Gould with 2:38 to play in the third finished off a 53-yard, eight-play drive by Chicago to give the team a 24-21 lead.

Game Notes

The Bears controlled the ball for almost 33 minutes and outgained the Panthers, 347-321 ... Jeffery finished the game with six catches for 97 yards ... Carolina plays in Cincinnati next Sunday ... Chicago plays at Atlanta next week ... Chicago had won its previous three games against Carolina, and still leads the series, 5-4.