How the Atlanta Falcons were able to humble the Carolina Panthers:

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Author: Jon Kuzma

Defense defense defense. That is how the Atlanta Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers yesterday ultimately ending the Panthers dreams of an undefeated season. When you build a team itā€™s always important to prioritize defense and focus on the running game. The Falcons took away the Panthers rushing attack and then they kept Cam Newton in check in the passing game. Newton finished the day with 17 completions out of 30 passing attempts for only 142 yards through the air. Effectively keeping the M.V.P frontrunner candidate in check like no other team has been able to do up to this point. Not one Panther was able to rush or catch for a 100 yards either. So when you have such a strong defensive effort collectively good things are going to happen for your football team. Robert Alford was the leader of Atlantaā€™s defensive efforts with 7 total tackles. Vic Beasley Jr. also added 4 tackles and a sack in the match up. Offensively for the Falcons Matt Ryan was phenomenal as well. Ryan finished the day with 306 passing yards and 1 touchdown on the day. Finding Julio Jones for that touchdown reception. Jones was absurdly effective against the Panthers defense as well. He recorded 9 receptions for 178 receiving yards. Showing why he has easily been one of the best wide receivers in the league this year. Devonta Freeman also contributed 73 yards rushing and a touchdown to the Falcons offensive efforts. When you look at this games’ stats it becomes alarmingly clear that the Panthers didnā€™t run the ball enough. The Panthers had 20 rushing attempts to the Falcons 30 rushing attempts. When the Panthers were at their best earlier in the season they were running the football effectively and asking Cam to make the play when he had to. Yesterday the Panthers took the offensive approach of just putting it all on Camā€™s shoulders. The team has been clearly missing the absence of Jonathan Stewart and will certainly get a boost offensively when they can get him back. For the Falcons it was a good win but this team has to be feeling the letdown of missing out on the playoffs. After starting off the season red hot the Falcons stumbled down the stretch. Resulting in another wasted season for Matt Ryan and companyā€¦

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