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Revisiting the top Falcons-Panthers Week 4 matchups

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Hello, pass rush.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons put on a passing clinic in their 48-33 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Prior to the win, we took a look at the top matchups to watch.

Let’s examine those matchups again.

Cam Newton versus Falcons pass rush

Dwight Freeney and Grady Jarrett led the way in consistently pressuring Cam Newton. Freeney notched the unit’s only sack with a fake spin move, but the Falcons found a good bit of success in forcing Newton to move around and outside the pocket and miss some throws. He never looked comfortable.

Last season’s MVP completed 14 of 25 passes for 165 yards before he suffered a concussion. Backup David Anderson wasn’t pressured nearly as much, as the Falcons apparently opted to play a bit more conservatively. Still, it was easily the group’s best game this season.

Panthers secondary versus Jacob Tamme and company

Carolina’s secondary didn’t offer much resistance to any player, as Matt Ryan passed for 503 yards and Julio Jones reached 300 receiving yards. While Jacob Tamme and Austin Hooper combined for just 3 catches for 45 yards, they both caught touchdown passes.

Not exactly the big day the two tight ends possibly could’ve had, but that’s what happens when Jones is abusing the Panthers’ cornerbacks in one-on-one situations.

Falcons running backs versus Panthers front seven

Atlanta’s running game was held to 90 yards on 25 attempts, with Devonta Freeman leading the way with 13 carries for 57 yards and a 13-yard touchdown scamper. It was a step down for a rushing offense that piled up 237 yards the week before against the New Orleans Saints, but it’s expected when the passing game couldn’t be stopped.