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

06 November, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Falcons can't hold early lead in costly loss to Panthers

The Carolina Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak to their longtime divisional rival, the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday before a delighted home crowd in Charlotte. The Panthers' all-time rushing leader lost two fumbles for the first time his career. However, it took only 90 more seconds for the Panthers to get their second touchdown of the day, a rushing touchdown by Cam Newton.

Devin Funchess had five receptions for 86 yards in his first game as Carolina's No. 1 receiver after the team traded Kelvin Benjamin earlier in the week. Meanwhile, Atlanta went into a funk, no play perhaps more telling than all-pro receiver Julio Jones dropping a wide open touchdown pass on a fourth down play in the fourth quarter.

All alone, Jones somehow dropped Matt Ryan's perfectly lofted pass.

In the second half, it was nearly entirely Carolina Panthers as they were able to win the time of possession behind an effective ground game. 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. Sanu did all of his damage in the first half, getting the Falcons on the board with a short six-yard touchdown.


The Panthers are now tied with Pittsburgh for the most road wins this season at four. The touchdown stood, giving Carolina a momentum-shifting lead as the teams headed into halftime. It goes as its best player in inside linebacker Luke Kuechly goes.

The Panthers are 11-11 at home against the Falcons, including a 3-2 mark in the last five games at Bank of America Stadium.

The Falcons (4-4) scored 81 points in two games against the Panthers (6-3) a season ago, and it looked like they would put up a comparable number through one quarter Sunday.

-Safety Mike Adams injured his shoulder while making a tackle in the fourth quarter. At least until the defense got a big stop and made a big play.

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