CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
They were flagged for five personal foul penalties and defensive end Chris Long was ejected from the game for throwing a punch after one fracas involving more than a dozen players.
Long admitted after the game he lost control of his emotions and said he apologized to his teammates.
“Having to watch the rest of the game in the locker room was probably one of the low points of my career,” Long said. “I can’t let that happen again. ... I need to be stronger than that. I play this game with a lot of emotion. I won’t change that. I can’t let people provoke me.”
Mitchell, a free agent pickup, was instrumental in the Carolina win.
He not only had eight tackles and two forced fumbles, but also goaded offensive lineman Harvey Dahl and wide receiver Brian Quick into unnecessary roughness penalties.
“We wanted to do a better job of being more mature, being the more composed team,” Mitchell said. “We had the game in hand and we could tell by the way they were playing that they wanted to get somebody cheap, try to get us a penalty, something like that. We weren’t going to give it to them. We just needed to stay disciplined.”
The Panthers were flagged for two personal fouls.
It was a rough day all around for Bradford.
Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn intercepted the former No. 1 draft pick on the game’s first play and returned it 45 yards for a score. Bradford also had a long TD pass to Tavon Austin called back on a penalty, and Quick dropped a pass in the end zone.
The Panthers’ third-ranked defense forced three turnovers and had four sacks.
The Rams threatened to tie the game early, but failed to convert on fourth-and-goal from the 1 when Bradford was pressured into an incompletion.