Falcons can't hold early lead in costly loss to Panthers

Nov 06, 2017, 00:29
Falcons can't hold early lead in costly loss to Panthers

Well, the Panthers didn't get off to a good start against arch rival Atlanta.

But with Cam Newton running - and diving - over Falcons defenders, and Christian McCaffrey having his most effective day as pro, Carolina's offense came to life, rushing for more than 200 yards. Running back Jonathan Stewart had two fumbles on his first three carries and the Falcons were able to jump out to a 10-0 lead. Atlanta leads the all-time series with Carolina, 27-17.

Trailing 20-10 to the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons elected to go for it. Bradberry gave up passes of 34 yards, 21 yards and 15 yards as the Panthers were kept on their heels. He played out of his mind today, as he does most weeks.

Michael Palardy continues to be an asset at punter for Carolina. Instead, they swept Tampa Bay and Atlanta (4-4) to remain a half-game behind New Orleans (6-2).

A 40-yard catch from Taylor Gabriel and touchdown pass to Tevin Coleman put the Falcons back in it with about four minutes to go.

With a tough slate of games ahead, including a pair of non-division matchups against the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons will likely continue to work on executing in third-down situations. The position helped the defense stop the Falcons and sealed the win.

Carolina has figured out a recipe for success this season. When he crossed the goal line, he actually dunked the ball on Desmond Trufant's head. The Panthers drove in and scored another touchdown, this one on Newton's 52nd career rushing touchdown.

They also followed up the pitch play with some trickeration on their next drive. That resulted in Matt Bryant's 53-yard field goal.

On fourth-and-7 from the Carolina 39 in the fourth quarter, the man who may be the best receiver in the National Football League got open by 10 yards in the Panthers end zone.

The Falcons looked to build on their lead before halftime, but Mike Adams intercepted Ryan and returned it 49 yards to set up Newton's 9-yard touchdown run.

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