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Vereen tallies eight receptions in Pats loss

Local talent back in lineup for Monday's 24-20 loss

Posted: November 18, 2013 11:24 p.m.
Updated: November 18, 2013 11:24 p.m.

New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) is sacked by Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy (76) during the first half of Monday's game.

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As the Carolina Panthers celebrated their sixth straight win, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were left wondering why a penalty that could have saved them on the final play was wiped out.

Cam Newton threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr. with 59 seconds left and Carolina held off New England 24-20 Monday night when officials picked up a flag in the end zone on the final play.

Newton drove the Panthers 83 yards on 13 plays for the go-ahead touchdown, but the Patriots had a chance at an improbable comeback when Brady moved New England to the Carolina 18 and fired into the end zone on the final play.

The pass was intercepted by safety Robert Lester, but officials threw a flag after it appeared linebacker Luke Kuechly had interfered with tight end Rob Gronkowski by grabbing him with both hands. The officials quickly gathered together and waved off the flag.

“There was no explanation given to me. Officials ran off the field. I didn’t see anything,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “It was the last play of the game. There was a flag thrown and then the game was over.”

An angry Brady sprinted over to two officials to argue the call as they walked off the field.

“He was kind of weaving in and out of there. I didn’t really want to throw it over his head and out of bounds, so I was a little indecisive,” Brady said. “It wasn’t a great throw. No excuses. Should have been a better throw.”

Meanwhile, the Panthers celebrated.

In the loss, local talent Shane Vereen hauled in eight passes for 65 yards for New England.

It was Vereen’s first game since the Patriots’ season opener, when the former Valencia Viking broke his wrist against the  Buffalo Bills in a 23-21 win.

Vereen has rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries this year.

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