Panthers Let One Slip Away; Fall to Falcons 30-28 on Last Minute FG Drive

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Panthers found a new way to lose in 2012, this time in a nail biter they should have closed out. The Panthers punted with a minute left on the clock and great coverage pinned the ball at the one. But it was not enough as the Falcons drove 2/3 of the field and kicked the game winner

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

DE Charles Johnson - 3.5 sacks and several other hits on the Falcons QB

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:

Camrun_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Olsen scores after breaking an arm tackle:

Olsen_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Nakamura gives up the deep TD pass...not the last one of the day either

Ryantd_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Nakamura redeems himself momentarily with a point saving INT:

Ryanint_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Roddy White scores again to stake the Falcons to the lead:

Roddy2_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Newton scores to bring the Panthers back from the dead:

Cam2_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Newton shows some variation on his TD dance!

Camdance_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Newton to Pilares for the go ahead TD...love this play call

Cartd_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

The dagger to a Panther fans heart:

Falcons_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

WTF was Nakamura doing on that one?

This is Now a Post Game Open thread!

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