Guest of the League
The Empire Est. 2019
FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Falcons defense overwhelms Allen, Panthers 29-3

Sun Nov 17 4:22pm ET
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matt Ryan, Kenjon Barner, Devonta Freeman, Austin Hooper, Kyle Allen, Christian McCaffrey, Qadree Ollison, Calvin Ridley

Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) scramles while Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) runs while Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) misses the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) reaches for a pass while Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a pass while Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) defgends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) tackles Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


The Carolina Panthers offense lines up against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) and wide receiver Christian Blake (13) celebrate Ollison's touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) falls into the end zone for a touchdoqn against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Kenjon Barner (38) runs the ball while Carolina Panthers linebacker Bruce Irvin (55) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera directs his team during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) intercepts a pass in the end zone during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) intercepts a pass in the end zone during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun (54) is blocked by Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) while running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) runs while Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) tackles during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) passes while Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Kenjon Barner (38) celebrates with running back Keith Smith (40) and running back Brian Hill (23) following Barner's touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Atlanta intercepted Kyle Allen four times and sacked him five times, Kenjon Barner returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown and the Falcons defeated the Carolina Panthers 29-3 Sunday for their second straight lopsided win against an NFC South foe.

The Falcons (3-7) had only two interceptions all season - and none since Week 2 against the Eagles - but intercepted Allen three times in the first half to build a 20-0 lead.

Matt Ryan improved to 7-1 in his past eight starts against the Panthers, throwing for 311 yards including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley.

Ridley found huge holes in the Carolina defense, finishing with eight catches for 143 yards and rookie Qadree Ollison added a 2-yard TD run for the Falcons, who won despite playing without running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Austin Hooper.

It was the second straight dominant defensive performance for the Falcons, who defeated the Saints 26-9 last Sunday.

Allen struggled all day for Carolina (5-5), continuing a disturbing trend.

The second-year quarterback has thrown eight interceptions in the past four games, after not throwing any in his first four career starts. He spent most of the game under heavy duress, while the Panthers offensive line racked up holding penalties in an unsuccessful effort to protect him.

The Falcons dominated in every phase of the game, including special teams.

Barner, who was drafted by the Panthers in 2013, gave Atlanta the boost it needed when he fielded Michael Palardy's punt and weaved his way up the field, picking up blockers along the way en route to an early 10-0 lead. It was the first punt return allowed by the Panthers since 2016.

Christian McCaffrey finished with 191 yards from scrimmage for the Panthers but failed to score for the first time since Week 2. He passed LaDainian Tomlinson (238) for the most receptions by a running back in his first three NFL seasons.

INJURIES

Falcons: Takk McKinley injured his shoulder on a first-half sack of Allen and did not return.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Host Buccaneers on Sunday.

Panthers: Visit Saints on Sunday.

Player Notes
Randall Cobb Mar 28 9:33pm ET

Houston Texans WR Randall Cobb said he feels better than he has in at least five years after focusing on improving his hamstring strength during his time with the Dallas Cowboys.

Fantasy Spin: Cobb's 828 yards last year were his most since 2015, and he averaged a career-high 15.1 yards per reception. Following the surprising trade of DeAndre Hopkins, Cobb could find himself a key part of the Houston passing game.

From TheHuddle

Derek Wolfe Mar 28 5:50pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a one-year, $3 million fully guaranteed deal with defensive end Derek Wolfe on Saturday. Wolfe can earn $3 million more in incentives. He chose Baltimore over the Texans. One of the strongest defenses in the league gets even stronger on their defensive line with the Wolfe signing. The 30-year-old was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2012. Despite playing in just 12 games due to injury in 2019, he racked up a career-high seven sacks while recording 34 tackles (23 solo), eight tackles for loss, 12 QB hits and one forced fumble. Wolfe can be effective in doses for Baltimore, but he isn't all that attractive in IDP leagues, especially at his age.

From RotoBaller

Mike Daniels Mar 28 5:13pm ET

Free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) was talking with the Baltimore Ravens before the Ravens decided to sign DE Derek Wolfe.

From TheHuddle

Derek Wolfe Mar 28 5:03pm ET

Unrestricted free-agent DE Derek Wolfe (Broncos) reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens to sign a one-year deal worth up to $6 million, a source said Saturday, March 28.

From TheHuddle

Demarcus Robinson Mar 28 4:30pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs are re-signing wide receiver Demarcus Robinson to an undisclosed one-year deal on Saturday, according to a source. Robinson had the best season of his career in 2019, catching 32 passes for 449 yards (14 yards per catch) and four touchdowns in 16 games (10 starts). The former fourth-round pick in 2016 plays in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball, but he's also behind Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman in the receiving pecking order. Watkins may not be back and Robinson can provide some big games, but those games will continue to be hard to predict as a fantasy owner. He'll be most useful as receiver depth in deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

Demarcus Robinson Mar 28 3:33pm ET

Unrestricted free-agent WR Demarcus Robinson (Chiefs) will re-sign with the Kansas City Chiefs on a one-year deal, a source said Saturday, March 28. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fantasy Spin: It seemed like Robinson, 25, may have had a market elsewhere, but returning to the Chiefs on a one-year deal could position him for a better run at free agency in 2021. Robinson showed capable of being a capable fill-in for the Chiefs early in the year when Tyreek Hill was injured. A Week 2 explosion vs. the Oakland Raiders (6-172-2) accounted for 38 percent of his total receiving yardage on the year and half of Robinson's touchdown production. The chances to flash will be there, but his fantasy football worth is zero without an injury to Hill or Sammy Watkins. It is still possible the latter is released due to carrying a $21 million cap hit, which would make Robinson a draftable option. Monitor how KC handles Watkins' contract situation in the coming weeks.

From TheHuddle

Devin Funchess Mar 28 3:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Devin Funchess received a one-year, $2.5 million contract, which includes a $1 million signing bonus, $1.2 base salary, $50,000 workout bonus and $15,625 each game active. The deal also contains another $3.75 million in incentives, bringing the max to $6.25 million.

From TheHuddle

Ryan Smith Mar 28 2:23pm ET

Free-agent CB Ryan Smith on Saturday, March 28, was re-signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

From TheHuddle

Matt Breida Mar 28 2:03pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida is a potential candidate to be traded, in the opinion of Spotrac.com.

Fantasy Spin: Breida saw a decline from his career numbers of 2018 (1,075 total yards, five TDs), totaling 743 yards and two scores last season. More alarmingly, he only had nine rushing attempts for 19 yards during the Niners' three-game ground-heavy run to the Super Bowl and with San Fran already rostering Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson and possibly getting Jerick McKinnon back after a pair of seasons missed to injury, don't be surprised to see Breida dealt.

From TheHuddle

Curtis Samuel Mar 28 1:43pm ET

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel is a potential candidate to be traded, according to a list put out by Spotrac.com.

Fantasy Spin: Samuel's receptions, touch count and yards from scrimmage have gone up in each of his three seasons, resulting in a 73-touch, 757-yard-7-TD stat line last season, but now with the Panthers adding another speedy weapon in free-agent WR Robby Anderson, Samuel may indeed be expendable. He's a WR4 currently, but could bump up a level if traded to the right team.

From TheHuddle

Shelby Harris Mar 28 1:10pm ET

The Denver Broncos re-signed defensive lineman Shelby Harris to a one-year deal that includes $2.5 million in guarantees on Saturday, according to a source. Harris can make up to $3.25 million with incentives. Denver's D-line should be pretty imposing in 2020 with Bradley Chubb, Von Miller, Jurrell Casey and Harris all in the fold. The 28-year-old former seventh-round pick of the Raiders in 2014 had a career-high six sacks in 2019, including 49 tackles (28 solo), eight tackles for loss, six QB hits, nine passes defensed and one forced fumble in all 16 games. He was a nuisance on the interior against opposing signal-callers, mainly deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage.

From RotoBaller

Michael Bennett Mar 28 1:10pm ET

Free-agent defensive end Michael Bennett said that he wants to play in 2020, according to a source. Bennett played for both the Patriots and Cowboys last season and had 6.5 sacks, 32 tackles (24 solo), 14 tackles for loss and 15 QB hits in 16 games (one start). He's entering his age-35 season, so Bennett doesn't have a whole lot left, but he can still be productive in a rotational role and can provide veteran leadership to a locker room. Bennett spent five years with the Seahawks from 2013 to 2017 and wouldn't mind returning to Seattle to finish up his career. He had his best seasons with the Seahawks, making three straight Pro Bowls from 2015-17.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Mar 28 1:00pm ET

Along with Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, the Eagles picked up the 2021 options on quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive end Brandon Graham and offensive guard Isaac Seumalo on Friday. All the moves were procedural. Wentz is scheduled to make $1.38 million and $15.4 million in base salaries the next two seasons as part of the four-year, $128 million extension he signed last year. He has been injury prone so far in his career, but he completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 4,039 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a barren receiver corps in 2019. Jeffery had surgery for a Lisfranc foot injury and played in only 10 games last year, catching 43 passes for 490 yards and four touchdowns. He's become less dependable for fantasy owners heading into his age-30 season.

From RotoBaller

Eric Tomlinson Mar 28 12:43pm ET

Free-agent TE Eric Tomlinson (Raiders) is signing with the New York Giants, the team announced Saturday, March 28.

From TheHuddle

Malik Jackson Mar 28 10:53am ET

The Philadelphia Eagles have exercised the contract option of DL Malik Jackson. He had a $2.4 million option that had to be exercised or his 2020 salary would have increased to $10 million; instead, he will earn a base salary of $1.05 million this year.

From TheHuddle

Michael Bennett Mar 28 10:53am ET

Free-agent DE Michael Bennett (Cowboys) is interested in playing during the 2020 season, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Shelby Harris Mar 28 10:13am ET

The Denver Broncos re-signed free-agent DL Shelby Harris to a one-year contract Saturday, March 28. The deal includes $2.5 million in guaranteed money and has a maximum value of $3.25 million, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Andy Dalton Mar 27 10:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton could remain with the team for the 2020 season, and 'all options are still on the table' for the quarterback, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Fantasy Spin: Dalton has been the subject of trade rumors, but the Bengals continue to sit on the veteran quarterback. There is still a chance he is moved before the start of the season, but with Cincinnati expected to draft Joe Burrow with the No. 1, it seems unlikely Dalton would be starting if he is a still a Bengal come Week 1.

From TheHuddle

Jadeveon Clowney Mar 27 7:50pm ET

Free-agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney isn't close to signing with a team in free agency, according to a few sources. A growing thought around the league is that Clowney could wait a while to find his new team, perhaps into training camp this summer. He hasn't gotten offers anywhere close to what he wants, which is a multi-year deal in the $20 million a season range. Instead, the consensus is that the Seahawks' offer to re-sign him was in the $13-15 million per-year range. The pass-rusher had only three sacks in 2019 and has a long injury history, which makes things more problematic with the current restrictions on physicals due to the coronavirus. Clowney can be a difference-maker when healthy, but he's a wild card because of his injury history and lack of a double-digit sack season.

From RotoBaller

Laquon Treadwell Mar 27 7:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons WR Laquon Treadwell signed a one-year contract with the Falcons worth $910,000.

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