Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed a 44-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter.
The Panthers began at their own 20-yard line following a touchback, trailing the Broncos 13–7. On the second play of the drive, Cam Newton found Ted Ginn over the middle for a 45-yard catch-and-run, moving the ball to the Denver 35-yard line.
On second down of the next series, Newton handed to Fozzy Whittaker for a 10-yard gain, but an unnecessary roughness call on Trai Turner brought the ball back 15 yards to the Carolina 40.
Newton hit Ginn again on second down for 14 more yards, moving the ball to Denver’s 25. The Panthers went three-and-out on the ensuing series to set up a 44-yard attempt by Graham Gano.
Gano missed off the right upright, keeping the score at 13–7 as Denver took over.