After leading 23 - 7 at the half the Panthers completely folded in the second half as Cam Newton and the Panthers offense misfired over and over. This was a tough one to watch as Newton threw two interceptions and the offense committed numerous drive killing penalties.
After giving up a one point lead the Panthers could not capitalize. Instead the Panther secondary got caught napping and gave up a long TD to Wr Julio Jones to extend the lead to 8. That forced the Panthers to go for it on 4th down instead of kicking a potential game winning FG. Speaking of which, the Panthers had a chance to take the lead when down 24-23 but K Olindo Mare missed, hooking it left. The Mare detractors will be out in force this week and I'm starting to agree with them.
In the end though it was Newton's turnovers that put the Falcons back in it. Many other players are complicit in succumbing to the shift in momentum but the talk should center ont he 'lion' who fell apart in the 3rd quarter. I see this as all part of the kid learning how to win...tough loss today, let's hope he learns from it.
Here's my quick hits:
High Point: Newton hits TE Greg Olsen on a screen play for a 44 yard touchdown.
Low Point: Trying to extend the play and avoid a sack, Newton tries a left handed shovel pass to Jonathan Stewart that is intercepted. This essentially started the Falcons tidal wave of 24 unanswered points.
- CB Captain Munnerlyn downs a punt inside the 5 yard line that leads to a safety by DE Antwan Applewhite
- RB DeAngelo Williams blasted down the sideline for a 74 yard 2nd qtr TD run
- Newton fakes a QB draw in the red zone and hits TE Shockey for a TD
- CB Darius Butler misses a tackle that allows a 75 yard TD to Julio Jones
- Falcons RB Rogers scores on a wheel route
- Cam Newton 19 for 39 for 279 yards and 2 two TDs & 2 INTs...not a bad line but the INTs were critical
- Matt Ryan 22 for 38 for 320 yards and 4 TDs
- WR Julio Jones 3 receptions for 104 yards and 2 TDs
- WR Steve Smith: 6 receptions for 125 yards
- LB James Anderson 10 tackles and .5 sacks