The Atlanta Falcons will move into their only primetime game of the season this upcoming week, and it happens to come against a division opponent. For the second time in 11 days, the Birds will lace em up against the Carolina Panthers.
With their win a couple of weeks ago, the Falcons moved their all time record against Carolina to a glistening 35-20. Their rivals up I-85 are the only division rival against whom Atlanta has been outright dominant in their history, as their record against the Bucs and Saints is incredibly close to .500.
The Falcons are once again in the middle of a great spell head to head, having gone 11-3 in their last 14 meetings. Neither of these teams has been to the playoffs since 2017. They have watched the Buccaneers and Saints dominate the NFC South since then, after a run of five consecutive years where the division winner was either the Panthers or Falcons.
Following Carolina’s surprise victory against the Buccaneers and Atlanta’s defeat at the hands of the Bengals, these two teams met the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the victor taking claim of first place in the NFC South, even though they were both below .500 at the time.
The game really got wild in the fourth quarter, but Atlanta may not have been in position to make it as such had it not been for a brilliant Lorenzo Carter pic 6 to give the Birds a 14-10 lead going into the half.
Overall, there were six lead changes. Atlanta could not contain D’Onta Foreman, who had 118 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the last of which gave the Panthers a 28-24 lead late in the fourth quarter. Less than a minute later, the Falcons took back the lead with a Damiere Byrd 47-yard catch and run score, which should have been the winner. Instead, Dean Marlowe made a howler of a play to let D.J. Moore score a 62-yard hail mary with 12 seconds remaining, but a penalty for the celebration set up a missed kick from Eddy Pineiro which sent the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Marcus Mariota threw an interception which should have lost Atlanta the game following the run back from C.J. Henderson into the red zone, but the Birds were once again lucky when Pineiro missed another kick for the win. They took that opportunity, drove downfield behind Mariota’s arm and legs, and set Younghoe Koo up for the game winning field goal.