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WATCH: Panthers bumbling playoff chances away

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers knew that they had to play a near-perfect game against the New Orleans Saints to remain alive in the NFC Playoff race and break a five-game losing streak Monday night.

About that?

In what has been pretty much the case throughout their current skid, the Panthers just couldn’t get out of their own way at home against New Orleans.

It started with Cam Newton throwing an interception in the end zone late in the second quarter. Up 7-6 at that point, the Panthers could have taken an eight-point lead. At the very least, Newton threw away three points.

With the game still 7-6 late in the third quarter, Carolina offensive coordinator Norv Turner dialed up a great play call. The Panthers were driving at mid field. Turner called on rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore to take the pitch from Newton.

What followed was a blunder of epic proportions. Moore found a seam down the middle and took the ball inside New Orleans’ 30. That’s when Saints safety Vonn Bell made a tremendous play on the ball — forcing it loose. The end result was a fumble and a recovery from the road team.

Check it out below.

That’s just not winning December football. It represented Carolina’s second turnover inside the Saints 30 in a game that entered the fourth quarter with the Panthers up one.

Like clockwork, New Orleans scored a touchdown on the following possession.

Ouch!