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Published: Mon, November 06, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Panthers face defending NFC champion Falcons at home

Panthers face defending NFC champion Falcons at home

What was a point of weakness for the Panthers all season long finally showed up against the Falcons, as Carolina managed 201 rushing yards in a 20-17 win at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday that snapped a two-game skid against its division rivals. Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense covered the remaining distance in six plays, scoring on a 4-yard run by Christian McCaffrey. The quarterback ran for 86 yards on nine carries and even rattled off a 34-yard gain in the first quarter.

Atlanta entered the game 27th in the National Football League with a -5 turnover margin, and Carolina entered tied for 29th at -7. He had a 4-yard touchdown on a pitchout as part of a day in which he had 66 yards rushing and 28 more receiving, including several plays he made for key first downs. Sanu has now gone for 65 yards and/or one touchdown in the Falcons' past three games.

Matt Ryan, last year's NFL MVP, threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns and had one costly first half interception for the defending NFC champion Falcons (4-4), who fell two games behind New Orleans at the midway point of their season. The Falcons were looking like they were the better team in the first half, then Atlanta does what it does best: blow leads.

For most of the first half of the Panthers' first game since trading Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina's offense didn't amount to much.

On the fourth-down run, tight end Austin Hooper was flagged for a personal foul penalty, moving the ball 15 yards in Carolina's favor and setting up the Panthers at the 50-yard line.

Atlanta holds the all-time series advantage, 27-17.

Julius Peppers leads the team with 7.5 sacks.

Early in the fourth quarter, things are not going so great for the Atlanta Falcons.

After a disastrous start by Jonathan Stewart (see below), Newton took matters into his own hands - with help from a rookie RB and a stingy defense - to help the Panthers improve to 6-3.

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