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

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

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

Carolina picked up their second straight division win on Sunday, holding down the visiting Falcons for a 20-17 victory. The Panthers offense had their best game of the season rushing the ball with 201 rushing yards thanks to Cam Newton's 86 yards and Christian McCaffrey's 66. After safety Mike Adams came up with an interception on Atlanta's ensuing drive, Carolina punched it in again on a nine-yard run by Cam Newton to take a 14-10 lead at halftime. Atlanta would surrender two touchdowns inside of two minutes remaining in the second quarter.

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

Carolina built a 20-10 lead on Graham Gano field goals of 31 and 45 yards on the team's first two possessions of the second half, giving the Panthers 20 unanswered points.

Carolina has figured out a recipe for success this season.

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. After the first recovery, Atlanta marched downfield and scored easily as Mohamed Sanu stutter-stepped on an out-route from the slot at the Carolina 6-yard line to get by Daryl Worley. It goes as its best player in inside linebacker Luke Kuechly goes. Carolina improves to 6-3 on the year, while Atlanta falls back to.500 at 4-4 on the season. Carolina running backs have only scored two of the team's six rushing touchdowns through week 9.

In the fourth quarter, Jones became the first receiver to have a 100-yard game against the Panthers' defense in 2017.

While it is not all on the play calling it should be noted that the Falcons continue to get cute and refuse to make the easy calls like running the ball on short yardage downs.

Atlanta has also struggled to find consistency, but in their comeback win over the New York Jets in Week 8, it seemed as if they found something to work with in the passing game.

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