Talk about a trap game…
On paper and based on their performance over the past few weeks it was safe to assume the Falcons would beat the Panthers.
Well you do know what they say about assuming and yesterday I was full of them during all four quarters of yesterday’s NFC South matchup.
Starting with my prediction… 35-10 Falcons, I got it all wrong!
After watching the Panthers defense get picked apart by Eli and the Giants, I just knew they would have problems defending the Falcons wealth of offensive weapons (Julio, Roddy, Tony G, & Turner) not to mention the hometown defense which going into yesterday’s game had been playing lights out.
Cam Newton completed 15-of-24 passes for 215 yards, 2 touchdowns, to go along with 86 yards on the ground, and a touchdown.
Can’t Forget The Panthers “D”
Carolina’s defense led by Charles Johnson’s 3.5 sacks on Matt Ryan recorded a total of 7 sacks versus the Falcons. They also prevented the Falcons from scoring a TD on their opening possession for the first time this season and on the flipside it was the first time the Panthers didn’t allow a touchdown on their opponent’s opening drive.
With less than two minutes remaining in regulation and everything going the Panthers’ way it appeared that they would leave Atlanta with a hard fought victory.
Once again I was wrong!
On 3rd and 2 from the Atlanta 46, Cameron Jerell Newton attempted to pick up the Carolina 1st down to seal the victory but with the game on the line John Abraham knocked the ball loose forcing a 4th and 1 that led to a Panthers punt that was downed at the 1 yard line.
Another Fairytale Ending For Falcons…
With no timeouts the Falcons had 1:09 to make something happen and on the 1st play Matt Ryan hit Roddy White with a 59 yard pass to set up the eventual Matt Bryant 40 yard game winning field goal with 5 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter.
My Final Admission…
Despite being sacked 7 times Matt Ryan had another good outing completing 25-of-40 passes for 369 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. As we continue to watch Ryan mature as a quarterback yesterday I think he took another step in silencing his biggest critics when it comes to his ability to make the deep pass.
Like every other super hero he only uses his powers when needed…
The Falcons now 4-and-0 are off to their best start since 2004 when they reached the NFC Championship game. They join the Texans & Cardinals as the league’s remaining undefeated teams.
Rob Calloway can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @robcalloway3
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