The Broncos had a chance to stretch their lead to 20-7, but kicker Matt Prater’s 43-yard field goal attempt was no good. The missed field goal prevented Denver from getting any points out of a drive that saw the Broncos move from their own 29-yard line to the Carolina 25.
The Panthers responded by getting into field goal range on a pair of 19-yard completions by quarterback Cam Newton, who found Smith over the middle on the first play of the drive, then picked up 19 more on a screen pass to running back Jonathan Stewart. But Carolina came up empty when kicker Justin Medlock missed his 43-yard field goal attempt wide left.
On the last possession of the half, the Broncos picked up one first down but were unable to move any further.
At halftime, the Broncos have outgained Carolina 167-146 and hold a 9-7 edge in first downs. Denver also holds a narrow advantage in time of possession, at 15:37 to 14:32.
Quarterback Peyton Manning has completed 16-of-20 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, while Denver has limited Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to nine completions on 16 attempts for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Fans can relive both Manning’s touchdown completion to wide receiver Brandon Stokley and wide receiver Trindon Holliday’s punt return for a touchdown with audio highlights courtesy of AM 850 KOA.
A video highlight of Stokley’s touchdown is available here.