One week after the Falcons stunned the Saints in New Orleans, Atlanta faces another division foe on the road. This time, they get a Panthers team that can get to the QB but is awful against the run. With Kyle Allen having an up and down year, can the Falcons defense disrupt him or will Christian McCaffrey carry the Panthers offense to a critical home victory? Let’s see how it all played out.
After winning the coin toss, the Falcons decide to start on offense. Starting on their own 25 after the touchback, the Falcons start with a 1 yard run by Brian Hill. After throwing it away on 2nd and 9, Matt Ryan connects with Russell Gage for 14 yards and the first down. On the next play, Ryan finds Calvin Ridley down the field for a big 34-yard play and another first down. After an end-around to Christian Blake goes for 3, and a pass to Julio goes incomplete, on 3rd and 7 Ryan connects with Julio but it’s short. Younghoe Koo comes on and nails the 38-yard field goal to give Atlanta the early lead.
Falcons 3, Panthers 0
Starting on their own 25, the Panthers offense starts with a quick pass for 2 yards to Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey gets the carry on 2nd down and on 3rd and 4, Kyle Allen is pressured into a poor throw by Takk McKinley and De’Vondre Campbell intercepts his pass attempt. Falcons take over deep in Carolina territory.
Brian Hill loses a yard on the first carry of the drive and on 2nd and 11, Ryan connects with Hill for an 8 yard gain. On 3rd and 3, Ryan connects with Julio Jones for the 5 yard gain and the first down. After an ineligible man downfield penalty sets up 1st and 15 and after a 1 yard run, on 2nd and 14Ryan connects with Ridley for a 9 yard gain. On 3rd down, Ryan is sacked, forcing the Falcons to go for another field goal, which Younghoe Koo misses, his first miss in 6 attempts with the team.
Christian McCaffrey starts their second drive with a 6 yard run. After a screen pass to McCaffrey is too high, on 3rd and 4, Vic Beasley sacks Kyle Allen to force the fourth down and the punt.
The Falcons start with a 1 yard run up the middle from the 50 yard line. On 2nd and 9, Hill is able to get the ball to the 45 to setup 3rd and 5. On 3rd down Ryan is nearly picked off, but it’s dropped, setting up the 4th down and the punt.
After a pass to Curtis Samuel loses 1 yard, McCaffrey picks up 11 yards on the dump off pass to convert the first down. After an incomplete pass on 1st down and a nice pass deflection by Isaiah Oliver on 2nd down, Takk McKinley gets the sack on 3rd down to force the fourth down and another punt by Carolina. On the punt, Kenjon Barner returns it all the way for the 78 yard touchdown.
Falcons 10, Panthers 0
The Panthers start with a run for 2 yards and follow it with a big 17 yard gain to D.J. Moore, which takes us to the 2nd quarter.
Falcons 10, Panthers 0
After a 7 yard run by McCaffrey on first down, McCaffrey gets the first down with his next run. After an incomplete pass on 1st down, McCaffrey picks up 6 on the run up the middle. On 3rd and 4, the Panthers complete the short pass to Curtis Samuel but end up in 4th and 2. Carolina decides to go for it and convert on the swing pass to McCaffrey. Allen is pressured into throwing the ball away on 1st down. On 2nd and 10, Allen connects with Greg Olsen to convert another first down. After an incomplete pass on 1st down, Desmond Trufant snags the interception in the end zone to end the Panthers drive.
Taking over on their own 20 after the touchback, the Falcons offense starts with Matt Ryan finding Julio for 19 yards and the first down. Ryan connects with Ridley for 11 yards and another first down. On play-action, Ryan connects with Ridley again for 26 yards and the third straight first down. After Kenjon Barner runs for 6 yards, and Brian Hill gains 3 yards, on 3rd and 1 Keith Smith gets the carry and converts the first down. On 1st and 10 from the Panthers 11, Justin Hardy picks up 1 yard on the shovel pass. On 2nd down, Ryan finds Julio for a 5 yard gain and on 3rd and 5, Ryan connects with Russell Gage for what appeared to be a touchdown, but is overturned on the review. The Falcons end up going for the easy points and Koo punches in the easy 23 yard field goal.
Falcons 13, Panthers 0
Starting from their 26, the Panthers offense starts with a 4 yard run by McCaffrey. After a false start, on 2nd and 11 Carolina gets called for a chop block and sets up 2nd and 24. McCaffrey picks up 3 yards and on 3rd and 21, the pass to D.J. Moore is stopped well short, forcing another Carolina punt.
On first down, Matt Ryan connects with Justin Hardy for 13 yards. After an incomplete pass sets up 2nd and 10, Julio takes the screen for 8 yards but it’s called back on a penalty on James Carpenter. On 2nd and 15, Ryan finds Russell Gage for 18 yards and the first down. After the two minute warning, the Falcons offense starts with a sack of Matt Ryan by Gerald McCoy for a loss of 6 yards. On 3rd and 16, Ryan finds Julio Jones for the big 49 yard completion and the first down. On the next play, Qadree Ollison gets his first touchdown run ever to give the Falcons a big lead.
Falcons 20, Panthers 0
After the kick return and a penalty for a block in the back, the Panthers offense starts on their own 8 yard line. A 6 yard pass to Greg Olsen and an incomplete pass, on 3rd and 4 D.J. Moore takes the pass 32 yards and the first down. On 1st and 10, Adrian Clayborn adds another sack for the Falcons defense. The next two plays set up 4th and 5, which Carolina decides to go for. After a 9 yard pass and an incomplete pass, on 3rd and 1, Ricardo Allen picks off Kyle Allen, making it 3 interceptions on the day for the Falcons defense. That was the last play of the first half.
Falcons 20, Panthers 0
The Panthers offense starts the 2nd half on their own 24 after the return with a pass that is nearly picked off by Isaiah Oliver. Christian McCaffrey busts out a big run on the next play for 18 yards and the 1st down. After an illegal shift penalty sets up 1st and 15, McCaffrey goes off for another 23 yards and the first down. He then stumbles to a 6 yard gain and on 2nd and 4, the Panthers get called for the hold. After a screen pass to Reggie Bonnafon goes for 2 yards, Kyle Allen is forced to scramble after pressure in the pocket (again!) and sets up 4th and 5. The Panthers decide to go for it. Adrian Clayborn punishes them for that decision by getting his 2nd sack of the day and the fourth for the Falcons defense.
The Falcons offense starts with great field position and after a first down run for no gain, Kenjon Barner picks up 9 on the 2nd down run. On 3rd and 1, they fail to convert on the run by Brian Hill. They decide to go for it on 4th and 1 and the QB sneak by Ryan picks up the first down. On the next play, Ryan connects with Julio for 11 yards and another first down. Ryan immediately follows that up with a 10 yard pass to Calvin Ridley for another first down. After an incomplete pass to Gage, he connects with Jaeden Graham for the 14 yard gain and another first down. After a powerful run by Ollison, Ryan finds Ridley again for the touchdown. The Falcons go for 2 and can’t convert.
Falcons 26, Panthers 0
After the touchback and a holding penalty, on 1st and 20, the Panthers pick up 5 yards on a McCaffrey run. On 2nd and 15, Allen is pressured into a dangerous shovel pass that is knocked down. On 3rd and 15, the Panthers pick up 14 yards on pass to McCaffrey. Carolina decides to go for it on 4th and 1. The Atlanta defense shows up big and stuffs Christian McCaffrey to force the turnover on downs.
With great field position, the Falcons offense loses 3 yards on the reverse to Julio. After a Brian Hill run for 1 yard, on 3rd and 12 Matt Ryan is sacked to force the fourth down and the punt. The Panthers offense takes over on their 9 yard line.
Allen completes a 14 yard pass to Curtis Samuel to start their offensive drive. After a McCaffrey run goes for 2 yards, Allen finds McCaffrey for a 10 yard gain and the first down. Greg Olsen picks up 26 yards on the next pass and another first down. Another first down pass to D.J. Moore takes us into the final quarter.
Falcons 26, Panthers 0
After Allen scrambles and throws away a pass, he connects with Moore to set up 3rd and 4. On 3rd down, Olsen catches the pass right at the sticks to convert the first down. A McCaffrey run sets up 2nd and 7, and the pass to Moore on 2nd down is broken up by a great play from Isaiah Oliver. The 3rd down pass is knocked away on a fantastic play by Ricardo Allen. The Panthers decide they want some points and punch in the field goal.
Falcons 26, Panthers 3
The Falcons offense starts on their 25 with a run for no gain from Brian Hill. On 2nd and 10, Calvin Ridley makes a fantastic catch for 9 yards. On 3rd and 1, Ryan finds Calvin Ridley again for a huge gain and another first down. On the following 3rd and 10, Ryan connects with Jaeden Graham again who makes a nice play to pick up the first down. On 2nd and 7, Brian Hill hits the corner and picks up 11 to set up 1st and goal. After a short run and two holding penalties, on 3rd and goal Ryan can’t connect with Julio in the end zone. Younghoe Koo comes on for the field goal and punches it in.
Falcons 29, Panthers 3
Starting on their 25, the Panthers offense begins their drive with a big first down pass to McCaffrey for a 20 yard gain. After a 9 yard pass to Moore, Allen finds him again on 2nd down to move the sticks. A short pass to McCaffrey is followed by an intentional grounding penalty to set up 3rd and 13. The pass to McCaffrey goes for 6 yards and sets up 4th and 7. They’re able to convert it on a pass to Moore. After Olsen picks up 6 on the pass, Damontae Kazee picks off Kyle Allen to kill their drive and to give the Falcons defense 4 interceptions on the day.
Qadree Ollison picks up 3 yards on two straight runs, on 3rd and 4 Brian Hill can’t break free for the first down. The two minute warning hits before they can punt it.
The Panthers take over on their own 35 after an impressive punt. A quick pass to McCaffrey and an incomplete pass sets up 3rd and 4. On that 3rd down, Allen Bailey adds on yet another sack for the day to force the Panthers into 4th and 15 and the punt.
The Falcons kneel it to close out the game for the dominant road win.
Final score: Falcons 29, Panthers 3