Panthers face defending NFC champion Falcons at home

06 November, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Keanu Neal forced fumble leads to touchdown for Mohamed Sanu

But the series resulted in a three-and-out with a repetitive first-snap handoff to running back Jonathan Stewart, a pass to Funchess over the middle that was broken up in tight coverage and a collapsed pocket that forced quarterback Cam Newton to scramble short of the first down.

Stewart had two fumbles and four carries in the first quarter.

Atlanta took a 10-0 lead into the second quarter.

Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers runs for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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

The Panthers only managed two field goals in the second half, but they were able to stave off a comeback thanks to their defense and the emergence of the running game.

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Atlanta converted just 33 percent (4-of-12) of its third-down opportunities against Carolina.

Atlanta enters Sunday's tilt with the fifth-ranked offense in the National Football League, averaging 374.4 total yards per contest.

JONES OVER 100: With six catches for 118 yards, Julio Jones became the first receiver to surpass 100 yards receiving against the Panthers this season.

Worst of all, the best player on their team looks like he's hurting. Newton passed for 154 yards in the air, including a fourth-quarter touchdown strike to Kelvin Benjamin to seal the win. Atlanta LB Vic Beasley Jr. had one sack, pushing his total to 19.5 since 2016 for the second most in the NFC. The Falcons entered the game having beaten Carolina three times in a row.

Instead of the struggling rookie we saw in the first eight games, McCaffrey more like the guy Carolina drafted out of Stanford. Here's where I should give a shout-out to the offensive line, too, as Carolina ran the ball for 201 yards.

Cornerback James Bradberry slipped on the very first play of the game and fell down, ceding a catch of 34 yards to Jones.

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