Boller, who was often booed for not moving the offense as the starter, received an unexpectedly warm reception.
"It was awesome," said Boller, who was 17-for-31 for 226 yards and three touchdowns. "The fans in Baltimore are great. At times, they're frustrated, but they deserve to be frustrated. All I can do is go out there and give my best and try to move the ball."
Boller did that against the Panthers, engineering two fourth-quarter touchdown drives that kept Baltimore close.
His performance drew praise -- from both sidelines.
"He came in confident," said tight end Todd Heap. "The whole time, sitting behind Steve, he's been a professional. And he's prepared every week like he was playing, and nothing was different today. He came in and knew what was going on and he was very sharp."
Mark Clayton, who caught two touchdown passes from Boller, said, "We know what Kyle's capable of and we're behind him 100 percent. ... We know that he can come in and he will win games."