Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/17/12
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers killed their slim hopes for a playoff berth with one of their worst performances of the season. Two touchdown passes by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and two rushing scores by fullback Mike Tolbert boosted the Panthers to a 31-7 victory Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. The loss officially ended San Diego's bid for the postseason. It's the third consecutive season the Chargers have missed the playoffs, meaning the job status of head coach Norv Turner, and possibly general manager A.J. Smith, is in serious jeopardy. The Chargers (5-9) scored fewer than 10 points for the third time this season. They lost 27-3 to the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 23 and 7-6 to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 28. The Panthers (5-9) dominated from the opening kick. They scored on their first three possessions, taking advantage of the Chargers' poor play and ineffectiveness on both sides of the ball, and coasted the rest of the way. Carolina outgained the Chargers 251-66 in total yards in the first half, limiting San Diego to five first downs. The Panthers finished the half with 20 first downs. San Diego managed to cross into Carolina territory only once in the half, but the drive ended with a Mike Scifres punt. The Chargers also got an earful from their fans, who loudly booed them as they left the field at halftime, when the Panthers led 24-0. The Panthers drove 80 yards in 13 plays on their opening drive. A 1-yard run by Tolbert, a former Charger, gave Carolina a 7-0 lead with 8:29 left in the first quarter. A fumble by San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, recovered by Carolina defensive tackle Nate Chandler at the Chargers' 21, led to another 1-yard scoring run by Tolbert. The Panthers running back strutted into the end zone with 4:54 remaining in the first for a 14-0 Carolina lead, equaling his season touchdown total in less than one quarter. The Panthers took a 21-0 lead with 58 seconds left in the quarter. Newton's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, but he still hit DeAngelo Williams for a short completion, and the running back rambled 45 yards for a touchdown. Carolina added a 33-yard field goal by Graham Gano with six seconds left in the half. The Panthers opened the second half with a 56-yard scoring drive. Steve Smith caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Newton, increasing the advantage to 31-0. San Diego's lone score was set up by a Williams fumble that linebacker Larry English recovered at the Chargers' 38-yard line. Rivers connected with tight end Antonio Gates on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 14:02 remaining in the game. That allowed Gates to tie Lance Alworth's club record of 81 touchdown receptions. NOTES: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, who managed 22 yards on four carries, left the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return. ... The game was the 100th for Turner as the Chargers' head coach. His record is 57-43. ... The Panthers won for the fourth time in five meetings with the Chargers. They recorded a 26-24 win over San Diego in their previous contest on Sept. 7, 2008. ... The Chargers have dropped three straight games at home. The other setbacks occurred against the Baltimore Ravens (Nov. 25) and Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 2). ... Ron Rivera served as the Chargers' inside linebackers coach from 2007-08 and as the club's defensive coordinator from 2008-10 before being taking his current job as head coach of the Panthers.
Why Tony Romo's return is the best thing for Dak Prescott's career
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Red Sox might not fill open general manager spot

Jared Goff to get first-team reps during bye week

Arian Foster announces retirement from NFL

Brock Osweiler booed in return to Denver

Josh Rosen out indefinitely with nerve issue in shoulder


Report: Tom Herman to Texas is ‘all but official’

Metta World Peace survives Lakers cuts, makes team

Jared Sullinger out two to three months after foot surgery

Hue Jackson shoots down Joe Thomas trade rumors

Teammates Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch tussle after race

Report: Dez Bryant expected to play in Week 8

Box Score 10/25: Lester, LeBron and Elton John

10 questions on the NBA season you were afraid to ask

Three reasons why the Cubs will win (or lose) the World Series

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Cleveland Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

NFL Week 8 stock report

Heisman Trophy winners and losers from Week 8

Carmelo wants athletes to do more beyond anthem protests

What's wrong with Man U?

Can Oilers' amazing start last?

WATCH: MLS player got a yellow card for twerking

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 questions on the NBA season you were afraid to ask

Three reasons why the Cubs will win (or lose) the World Series

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

Rock Band Rivals review: Score hunting

The NBA vets we're going to miss in 2016-2017 season

Who and what is hot and cold to start the NHL season?

With Game 6 looming, Kershaw is not defined by inaccurate image

Best games to watch in Week 8 of CFB and the rest of the season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker