Kicker Graham Gano added a 40-yard field goal with eight seconds to play in the half to give Carolina a 16-6 lead.
The Panthers struck first on Gano's 35-yard field goal at the 4:39 mark of the first quarter.
The Jets tied it on the last play of the opening quarter on kicker Nick Folk's 54-yard field goal. That made Folk 15 of 16 from 40-plus yards this season.
Carolina settled for Gano's 22-yard field goal on its next drive, which went 85 yards on 15 plays but stalled after reaching first-and-goal at the New York 2.
Folk hit from 33 yards out to make it 6-6 with 3:49 remaining in the first half.
Until DeAngelo Williams' touchdown reception, the Panthers were in danger of being limited to two first-half field goals for the second game in a row.
NOTES: Jets team captains for the game included S Josh Bush, FB Tommy Bohanon, LB Calvin Pace (all former Wake Forest players) and LB Quinton Coples (out of the University of North Carolina) as a tribute to returning to the state where they played in college. ... Pace notched a first-quarter sack, giving the 11-year veteran a career-high nine for the season. ... The Jets placed WR Stephen Hill on injured reserve and signed WR Saalim Hakim from the practice squad. ... Panthers LB Chase Blackburn played a home game for the first time in more than a month after a foot injury caused him to miss the previous two home games (and three overall). ... Carolina LB Thomas Davis played in his 100th career game. ... The Jets, who dropped to 3-1 against NFC opponents, play their home finale next week against the Cleveland Browns.