2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons dominated by rival Panthers 30-20

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-09 18:05

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - It's one loss.

And in the eyes of the Atlanta Falcons, it's certainly not time to panic.

Their 30-20 defeat Sunday came at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, a team that had won just three games. And granted, the Falcons were dominated for 2 1/2 quarters, falling behind 23-0 at one point. But players insist it won't take long to put the loss to their Interstate-85 rivals behind them and shift their focus to the postseason.

``We're in a position in our season where we've got everything right in front of us, and we need to get back to work and worry about that,'' Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said.

Ryan and others did express concern over yet another slow start offensively.

At halftime, the Falcons trailed 16-0 and had only 35 total yards and two first downs.

``That wasn't our best effort, I can tell you that much, especially on the offensive side of the ball,'' Falcons receiver Roddy White said. ``We put our offense in a big hole in the first half. We didn't convert on third downs. We didn't do much of anything.

``The last couple of weeks, we've not been starting out the way we should on offense, and waiting around. Today, we waited around too long. We let one get away from us. These are the games we're supposed to win, and needed to win.''

The Panthers clearly played with more emotion.

Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy promised ``payback'' and ``punishment'' for the Atlanta Falcons last week, and he and his Panthers teammates delivered on Sunday.

Despite playing without four starters and having 13 players on injured reserve, the Panthers dominated the NFC South champions as Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run. Newton piled up a career-high 116 yards on the ground and the Panthers racked up 475 total yards to avenge an early season loss with a dominating performance against their Interstate-85 rivals.

Carolina's defense was superb through 2 1/2 quarters building a 23-0 lead and holding a 356-86 edge in total yards to snap a five-game losing streak against the Falcons.

Carolina (4-9) came in with little to play for except to gain a measure of revenge on Ryan, whom they felt disrespected them after Atlanta's 30-28 come-from-behind win earlier this season at the Georgia Dome. Hardy was upset when television cameras caught Ryan cursing at the Panthers sideline telling them to get off their field in the Sept. 30 game.

Hardy responded by saying last week the Panthers were a ``better team'' than the Falcons while adding a variety of trash talk.

After Sunday's win Hardy turned the tables on the Falcons, repeating several times what Ryan told them back in Week 4 as he walked off the field. At one point Falcons kicker Matt Bryant returned fire at Hardy, saying ``Watch us in January.''

Hardy left the locker room before reporters were allowed in.

After the game, Ryan downplayed the war of words.

``I don't pay too much attention to it,'' said Ryan, who threw for 342 yards and two scores and one interception. ``They were better than us today, that's for sure.''

It was all Carolina from the start.

The Panthers hadn't won a coin flip all year until Sunday, causing team captain Jordan Gross to exalt at midfield by thrusting both arms into the air. Including one overtime game, the Panthers had lost 13 straight coin flips this season.

Carolina quickly took advantage, taking the opening kickoff and going 77 yards in 11 plays with Greg Olsen making a leaping grab from Newton in the back of the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

That set the tone for the first half.

By the time Graham's Gano's third field goal of the first half sailed through the uprights as time expired, the Panthers led 16-0 and had run 45 plays to Atlanta's 13 and outgained the Falcons 270-35.

Led by Newton, who had some big runs on third-and-long, including a highlight-reel 14-yard scamper on third-and-11, the Panthers had 15 first downs to Atlanta's two.

Carolina didn't let up in the second half.

After the Panthers stuffed Atlanta on its first drive, Newton faked a handoff to DeAngelo Williams on a zone read option and raced 72 yards for a touchdown, getting an assist from receiver Steve Smith along the way. Smith took out two would-be tacklers with a big block around the 20 before Newton somersaulted into the end zone for a 23-0 lead early in the third quarter.

Atlanta came back, with Ryan converting a fourth-and-4 with a 4-yard shovel pass to Jason Snelling, setting up a short TD pass to White.

The Falcons came right back with Ryan hitting Julio Jones for an 11-yard scoring toss to cut the lead to 24-13. Atlanta's 2-point conversion toss to White was ruled incomplete as officials said he bobbled the ball going out of bounds.

Atlanta got the ball back early in the fourth quarter and moved to midfield, but Ryan was flushed out of the pocket on fourth-and-7 and was intercepted by linebacker Thomas Davis with 6:19 remaining.

The Panthers, who've surrendered four fourth-quarter leads this season, put the game away on the next drive.

The Panthers capitalized on a defensive holding call by Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson on third-and-10 on their next possession as Williams caught a screen pass from Newton and raced 53 yards for a touchdown and a 30-13 lead.

NOTES: The Panthers played without starters wide receiver Brandon LaFell, running back Jonathan Stewart, linebacker James Anderson and safety Charles Godfrey. ... Panthers coach Ron Rivera ended his news conference early after starting to get emotional talking about the comeback of Thomas Davis, who has battled back from three torn ACLs to be a major contributor this season. ... Atlanta had won eight of the past nine games against Carolina before Sunday's loss.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jordy NelsonSep 16 10:56p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has targeted WR Jordy Nelson 30 times in two games so far this year. Rodgers has never targeted one of his wideouts more [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 16 10:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) did not pass his concussion tests Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Abraham will try to pass the tests again Wednesday.

Carson PalmerSep 16 09:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) will receive medical opinions on how to accelerate the healing process of the injured nerve in his shoulder, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Josh GordonSep 16 09:23p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon had his season-long suspension officially cut to 10 games Tuesday, Sept. 16. He could also avoid serving the mandatory two-game suspension for his DWI [ More ]

Justin JonesSep 16 07:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent TE Justin Jones (Patriots) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Sept. 16.

L. WashingtonSep 16 07:03p

The New York Giants re-signed WR Travis Harvey to their practice squad and signed free-agent WR L'Damian Washington (49ers) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Chris SmithSep 16 06:53p

The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed LB Chris Smith to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Isaiah FreySep 16 06:33p

Chicago Bears CB Isaiah Frey and WR Rashad Ross were signed from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Matthew MulliganSep 16 06:23p

The Chicago Bears released TE Matthew Mulligan Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Shaun DraughnSep 16 06:23p

The Chicago Bears placed RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Arthur JonesSep 16 06:13p

Indianapolis Colts DT Arthur Jones (ankle) is likely to be out two to four weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3 Monday, Sept. 15.

Walter ThurmondSep 16 06:03p

New York Giants WR Julian Talley and LB Dan Fox were promoted to the team's active roster from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16, filling the spots left by [ More ]

Preston ParkerSep 16 06:03p

New York Giants WR Preston Parker could see more snaps with WR Jerrell Jernigan recently placed on Reserve/Injured. Parker caught one pass for 29 yards against the Arizona Cardinals [ More ]

Nevin LawsonSep 16 05:53p

The Detroit Lions placed CB Nevin Lawson (toes) on Reserve/Injured and signed free-agents CB Danny Gorrer (Buccaneers) and LB Julian Stanford (Lions) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Mike PounceySep 16 05:32p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) thinks he's healthy enough to return to action in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. 'I feel like I can play,' Pouncey [ More ]

Victor ButlerSep 16 05:32p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent LB Victor Butler (Saints) and released LB Marcus Benard and P Drew Butler Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Zach BrownSep 16 05:23p

Tennessee Titans LB Zach Brown (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 16.

James AndersonSep 16 05:23p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB James Anderson (Patriots) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 16. The Titans believe Anderson can play an inside linebacker position, where they are thin.

Walter ThurmondSep 16 05:13p

New York Giants CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) has been placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Doug MartinSep 16 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) was limited at practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Jerrel JerniganSep 16 05:03p

New York Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan (foot) has been placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Logan MankinsSep 16 05:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder) and DT Gerald McCoy (hand) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 16. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (back), DE William Gholston (shoulder), DE Michael Johnson [ More ]

Allen BradfordSep 16 04:43p

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent LB Allen Bradford (Seahawks) and cut WR Ifeanyi Momah.

Ricky SappSep 16 04:43p

The Houston Texans signed free-agent Ricky Sapp (Texans) to their active roster and S Josh Aubrey (Seahawks) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16. They also released LB Jason [ More ]

Darius FlemingSep 16 04:23p

The New England Patriots signed free-agents LB Darius Fleming (Patriots), OT Caylin Hauptmann (Browns) and DL Kona Schwenke (Chiefs) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Alex SmithSep 16 04:03p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Alex E. Smith (biceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Julio JonesSep 16 03:53p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (ankle) fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Jake MatthewsSep 16 03:53p

Atlanta Falcons OT Jake Matthews (ankle) and LB Prince Shembo (knee) both fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Asa JacksonSep 16 03:43p

Baltimore Ravens CB Asa Jackson (concussion) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) both fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Gerald McCoySep 16 03:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (hand) and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) all did not participate in practice Tuesday, Sept. 16.

David ArkinSep 16 03:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed OG David Arkin (Seahawks) to the team's practice squad and released OG Josh Walker.

Dion LewisSep 16 03:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed DT Kelcy Quarles off the New England Patriots practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding move, the team waived RB Dion Lewis.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group