This one is going to sting for a few days. Ron Rivera needs to do some soul searching. He had to choose between going for it on 4th and 1 around midfield or trust his defense. I'm not sure either option would have resulted in a Panthers win but putting the game on the defense was not the right choice obviously.
Though FS Haruki Nakamura had his first Pro INT he was also victimized for two TDs and Hail Mary pass at the end that led to the game winning FG. It will be interesting to see if the Panthers make a change with Sherrod Martin on the bench.
From the positive side, we have the key performances:
QB Cam Newton - Newton was 15 for 24 for 205 yards for 2 TDs plus another 86 yards and a TD rushing. But the play that killed us was the fumble on a 3rd down rush that cost the 1st down that would have clinched the game.
RB DeAngelo Williams - 11 rushes for 49 yards and a TD
TE Greg Olsen - 6 receptions for 89 yards, TD
I've got some key plays in GIFs after the jump
Newton makes a nice run after a devastating block from LaFell:
Olsen scores after breaking an arm tackle:
Nakamura gives up the deep TD pass...not the last one of the day either
Nakamura redeems himself momentarily with a point saving INT:
Roddy White scores again to stake the Falcons to the lead:
Newton scores to bring the Panthers back from the dead:
Newton shows some variation on his TD dance!
Newton to Pilares for the go ahead TD...love this play call
The dagger to a Panther fans heart:
WTF was Nakamura doing on that one?
This is Now a Post Game Open thread!