clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Panthers 24 Falcons 31: Panthers fail in comeback effort, fall to 1-1 on the season

The Panthers tried to come back in the last seconds but came up just short and fall to 1-1 on the season.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The Panthers fell short in their comeback attempt against the Falcons today to even their 2018 record to 1-1 after losing 31-24 to their hated divisional rivals.

The real story today is how awful the defense looked. There were times where it looked like they had no idea what they were doing out there, and the Falcons took advantage of it. Even Luke Kuechly had a bad game, which is extremely rare.

The offense was okay but could have been better in spots. The offensive line surprisingly did a pretty good job at keeping Cam Newton from being destroyed, but the wide receivers continually let Newton down by dropping perfectly thrown passes in crucial spots. Othter than Christian McCaffrey and Jarius Wright, Newton was let down time and time again by dropped passes.

Panthers rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore had his first career catch—a 51-touchdown from Newton late in the 4th quarter that pulled the Panthers to within one score and gave them a chance to tie the game at the end. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Moore couldn’t come down with Newton’s final pass in the end zone, sealing the Panthers’ fate as losers in today’s game.

We’ll have more analysis on this game, Panthers fans, so stay tuned.

Live Updates

4th quarter

FINAL SCORE: Panthers 24 - Falcons 31

Cam’s pass to Moore falls in the endzone incomplete.

False start on Taylor Moton. That’s not ideal.

The Panthers have it on the Falcons’ 26-yard line with essentially one play left.

Funchess makes the catch over the middle for a first down. Panthers call timeout. 0:05 left. This is it right here.

Ball is knocked away from Smith. 2nd down. 0:12 left.

HUGE catch by Funchess to pick up the first down.

Cam finds Smith for a short gain, and he is unable to get out of bounds. 3rd down.

Cam has to throw it away to prevent a sack. 2nd down.

Cam finds CMC for another first down. Offense is in no-huddle mode.

Cam scrambles and picks up a first down.

The Panthers have 1:48 and one timeout to tie this game. LET’S GO.

It’s ruled a 4th down. The Panthers defense has held!

It’s close. Will depend on the spot.

The Panthers force a 3rd down. This is a huge play. 3rd and 1. GET A STOP, PANTHERS!

If the defense could get a stop here that would be great.

TOUCHDOWN PANTHERS: D.J. Moore shows why he was drafted in the first round on a 51-yard touchdown reception. Gano’s XP is good. Panthers 24 - Falcons 31

CMC picks up another first down on the screen pass. Panthers at midfield.

Cam hits Wright down the field. Panthers are starting to move.

CMC picks up a first down. Panthers can’t dink and dunk on this drive, though.

First play is a pass to CMC for five yards. 2nd and 5.

And of course the punt is downed inside the 5-yard line, because why not?

Hey, the defense made a stop! They’re gonna get the ball back!

The Panthers are down by 14 and the Falcons have the ball with six minutes left. Unless a miracle happens this one’s over.

LOL Cam hits C.J. Anderson in the hands and he pops it up straight into Ricardo Allen’s hands for an interception. You can’t make this incompetence up.

And now Cam takes advantage of an offsides call to hit Funchess for another big gain.

Cam hits Torrey Smith for a 26-yard gain. Might be too little, too late though.

Matt Ryan now owns Shaq Thompson’s soul.

LOL the Panthers let Matt Ryan score on a touchdown run where he leaps into the end zone over the linebackers. This is a complete train wreck.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Luke Kuechly has been bad today.

The Panthers defense is doing their best to let the Falcons win this game.

TOUCHDOWN PANTHERS: Cam throws a laser to Torrey Smith who hauls it in. Gano’s XP is good. Panthers 17 - Falcons 24

Ian Thomas makes up for his earlier drop by picking up a vital first down. First and goal.

Cam finds Funchess for a gain of around 6-7 yards. Huge third down here.

Cam throws a beautiful pass to Ian Thomas, who drops it in the end zone.

Cam keeps it and rushes for 10 yards and another first down. This is good, offense.

Cam finds Jarius Wright again and he hauls it in. Nice catch for a first down.

Cam slightly overthrows Torrey Smith on 2nd down, but Robert Alford is called for pass interference and bails the Panthers out.

CMC has 10 catches on 10 targets. That says a lot about how the vertical passing game is going today.

The Panthers are down 24-10 and have the ball. They should probably score here.

END OF 3RD QUARTER: Panthers 10 - Falcons 24

3rd quarter

Cam fires a bullet to Jarius Wright for a huge first down.

The Falcons have dropped three interceptions today. Luckily they haven’t caught them.

McCaffrey picks up 12 yards on first down. We need more of that, please.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse:

And the Panthers get a stop on third down. 4th and 3.

Panthers bailed out by a Ridley drop. Third down. A stop would be nice.

Ito Smith picks up two yards on first down.

And now Julio Jones is heating up. End this now, please.

The Panthers defense simply cannot tackle. This is complete and utter shit show.

And the Panthers defense wastes his effort by letting Coleman gain 19 yards on first down.

Palardy with another great punt to pin the Falcons inside their 20.

And for some reason they throw to Ian Thomas in the flat. It doesn’t work. 4th down.

Cam finds CMC for a moderate gain to make 3rd down easier. 3rd and 14.

Newton shakes off the pressure but can’t complete a pass to Torrey Smith. Smith saved an interception. Now it’s 2nd and 20.

Cam gets chased out of the pocket and picks up a few yards, but there’s a flag on the play. Of course it’s holding on the Panthers. 10 yard penalty and 1st and 20 upcoming.

Cam finds Jarius Wright for a 16-yard gain and a first down.

CMC picks up the first down so that was nice.

Cam dumps off to McCaffrey for an 8-yard gain. It’s not good that CMC is the only guy who can catch the ball today.

The Panthers need to score points now and stop going three-and-out.

TOUCHDOWN FALCONS: Matt Ryan keeps it on the sneak and gets into the end zone. Bryant’s XP is good. Panthers 10 - Falcons 24

Coleman stopped at the one. 2nd and goal.

And apparently now it’s the Ito Show. Another first down carry to the six yard line.

Ito Smith squirms out of Luke Kuechly’s grasp and picks up another first down.

And apparently that doesn’t matter as the Falcons pick up the first down with ease. I hate this defense sometimes.

A holding call makes it 1st and 20. Coleman picks up a few on 2nd down. Now it’s 3rd and long.

Da’Norris Searcy is in the concussion protocol, per Bill Voth.

Aaaaand they don’t. Palardy to punt.

It’s 3rd down after two plays, but it’s 3rd and 2 so hopefully the Panthers get it.

TURNOVER: Donte Jackson picks off a throw from Matt Ryan and the Panthers have the ball back. The down side - it’s inside their own five yard line.

Jones makes a great grab after Bradberry fails to locate the ball.

Ridley returns the opening kickoff to the 30-yard line. Tackling him would be a good idea.

HALFTIME: Panthers 10 - Falcons 17

2nd quarter

LOL I don’t know what happened but Cam pitches to Funchess and he picks up one yard and the half is over.

D.J. Moore brings the kickoff out but doesn’t get back to the 20. That wasn’t a good play.

TOUCHDOWN FALCONS: Ryan finds Hooper for six. Bryant’s XP is good. Panthers 10 - Falcons 17

Ryan tosses a screen to Smith for a short gain. 2nd down.

Ryan finds Marvin Hall wide open down the field and he takes it to the 16. Get a stop, defense.

Hooper picks up another first down. I don’t like how this is going.

Ryan finds Ridley for a 23-yard gain. Da’Norris Searcy on the tackle.

Coleman tries to find the edge but meets Luke Kuechly, who stops him after a four yard gain.

Palardy with an excellent 50-plus yard punt that is downed at the 15-yard line.

The Panthers run the “white flag” play by tossing to McCaffrey on the screen. It went as expected. Palardy on to punt.

Two minute warning.

And Cam gets sacked by Takk McKinley on 2nd down. That’s not good. 3rd and long.

Cam takes a shot deep to Torrey Smith, but it fortunately falls out of the hands of the defender. 2nd and 10.

Oooh CMC. Stuffed after eight yards on the screen but keeps his legs churning and picks up the first down. That was nice.

Chris Manhertz picks up a false start and now it’s 2nd and 10 instead. Not great, Bob.

Anderson picks up five yards on first down. 2nd and 5.

TOUCHDOWN FALCONS: Ryan finds Ridley in the endzone for six. Bryant’s XP is good. Panthers 10 - Falcons 10

Smith is shut down by Kuechly and Short on 2nd down. 3rd and 8.

Smith carries it to the 10-yard line for a four yard gain. 2nd down.

Ito Smith picks up a first down but is chased out of bounds by Luke Kuechly before doing any more damage.

Ryan finds Jones for a seven yard gain. 2nd and 3.

Coleman cuts it back and picks up a huge chunk of yards. Donte Jackson shows off his speed and chases him down, but not until after a 36-yard gain.

Ryan fires deep for Jones again, but it falls incomplete.

Ridley falls down on his route but the officials blame Donte Jackson for it and flag him for pass interference.

On 2nd down Luke Kuechly shuts down an emergency toss to Coleman for a loss.

Falcons pick up a few yards on first down.

TOUCHDOWN PANTHERS: Jarius Wright hauls in Cam’s pass for six! Gano’s XP is good. Panthers 10 - Falcons 3

McCaffrey picks up a few, but not enough to get into the end zone. 3rd and goal.

Funchess can’t hang on to Cam’s pass. 2nd and goal.

CAM NEWTON IS A MACHINE Y’ALL. Scrambles around and finds an open Devin Funchess for a first down. First and goal.

On 2nd and 6, McCaffrey picks up a few yards. 3rd down.

Torrey Smith gets his second false start penalty. Not great, Bob.

McCaffrey scampers for nine yards. 2nd and 1.

Cam is back on the field.

Kazee has been ejected for his hit on Cam. Torrey Smith flagged for retaliation, but not ejected. Newton went to the tent, but is now on the sideline throwing. He’s gonna be okay, hopefully.

Cam scrambles and picks up the first down. Ugly scene as Cam is hit late after sliding. Panthers players standing up for their leader. Bush league, Atlanta. Bush league.


Newton tries to find Torrey Smith in the middle of the field but he can’t bring it down. 4th down.

Newton gets tripped by Vic Beasley but manages to fall forward and pick up a yard or two. 3rd and 4 for the Panthers.

Anderson gets the carry on first down and picks up four yards.

Cam dumps it off to McCaffrey again and he picks up eight yards and a first down.

McCaffrey picks up three on the first play of the 2nd quarter.

END OF 1ST QUARTER: Panthers 3 - Falcons 3

1st quarter

Newton with the play action and finds McCaffrey in the flat for an 18-yard gain.

Moore fields the punt and returns is to the 31-yard line.

Ryan throws deep for Jones but overthrows him by a half mile. 4th down. Falcons to punt.

Hooper is shut down immediately after the catch for a gain of seven yards. 3rd and 11.

Matt Schaub was out for the next play for some reason and fumbles the snap. He falls on it, but the Falcons lost significant yards. 2nd and 18.

Ryan is flushed out of the pocket but is able to scramble and pick up the first down. A tackle would have been nice there.

Ryan runs play action and tries to find Jones again. Bradberry makes a nice play and shuts it down. 3rd and 4.

Ryan finds Jones for a six yard gain. 2nd and 4.

Falcons get called for illegal block in the back on the punt return and will start on their own 25 yard line.

Brian Poole comes untouched on the corner blitz and sacks Cam. Welp. Palardy out to punt.

False start on Torrey Smith turns 3rd and short to 3rd and long.

Cam goes to McCaffrey again, this time for more yards. 3rd and 3 for the Panthers.

Screen to McCaffrey picks up one yard. 2nd and long.

The Panthers start at their own 25 after the kickoff skips out of the end zone.

FIELD GOAL FALCONS: Bryant’s field goal attempt is good. Panthers 3 - Falcons 3

Matt Bryant out for a 44-yard field goal attempt.

The Falcons try a direct snap and Luke Kuechly laughs as he shuts it down for a loss. 4th down.

Austin Hooper makes the grab and leaps over Donte Jackson to pick up extra yards. Short of the first down, though. 3rd and 1.

Smith gets two yards on the carry. 2nd and 8.

Ito Smith gets his first carry and it goes for 11 yards. Offsetting penalties (horse collar on Vernon Butler, face mask on Smith) bring the play back.

Coleman goes straight through the defense and picks up a huge chunk of yards to get the first down. Donte Jackson probably saved a touchdown.

Calvin Ridley grabs his first catch of the game (and the season) but is stopped short of the first down. It’s 3rd and 1 for the Falcons.

Luke Kuechly finds Coleman again to shut down a rushing attempt for a short gain.

Ryan finds Julio Jones to pick up a first down and keep the chains moving.

Matt Ryan keeps it on 2nd down and picks up around five yards. It’s now 3rd and 3.

Tevin Coleman takes the first carry of the game for Atlanta and he is shut down by Luke Kuechly. 2nd and long.

Update on Norris:

Jared Norris is down on the field after the play. Looks like a shoulder injury. Hopefully he’s alright.

Lorenzo Doss makes a nice tackle on the kick return to pin the Falcons behind their 20.

FIELD GOAL PANTHERS: Gano’s attempt is good. Panthers 3 - Falcons 0

Scratch that - Graham Gano attempts a 54-yard field goal.

Jarius Wright drops Cam’s pass and the Panthers will have to punt.

Cam with the option keeper and picks up another four yards. 3rd and short for Carolina.

Christian McCaffrey picks up three yards on his first carry of the game.

Cam Newton finds Devin Funchess for five yards and another first down.

D.J. Moore takes the second handoff of the game and takes it six yards. Let’s keep this up.

C.J. Anderson takes the first handoff of the game and takes it 23 yards. Huge gain for the Panthers, who are now at midfield.

The Panthers receive the opening kickoff. Here we go.

The Panthers take on the Falcons in 15 minutes, Panthers fans! Stay tuned for live updates during today’s action.


The Panthers hit the road this Sunday to take on the Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta in the first divisional matchup for both teams. It should be a good game between two bitter rivals, and hopefully the Panthers will be able to come out on top.

Here’s all the information you need to follow the action as it happens live.

Game day information

What: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

When: Sunday, September 16 at 1 p.m. ET

Where: Mercedes Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)

TV: FOX; Dan Hellie, Greg Jennings, Karyn Bryant (Coverage map)

Radio: Panthers radio (local); Mick Mixon, Jim Szoke, Eugene Robinson, Kevin Donnalley

Spanish Radio: Panthers radio (local); Jaime Moreno, Luis Moreno Jr

Weather: 83°/70° / PM Showers / 22 mph N wind / 40% precip. (Complete forecast)

Note: The game will be played indoors, so the weather is only a factor for tailgating and travel to and from the stadium.

Miscellaneous information

Mobile app

You can download the official Panthers app to get live score updates during the game straight to your phone. Also, if you live in the NC/SC market you can listen to the live radio broadcast of every game with the app. You can find the Panthers app in your phone’s app store or you can download the app here.

Online Streaming

If you don’t live in the Panthers television market, you can stream all NFL preseason and regular season games on demand if you purchase NFL Game Pass. It’s a little pricey at $99, but it also includes access to All-22 film. If you’re just desperate to watch the Panthers game there is a 7-day free trial, but sign up at your own risk if you’re one of those people who forgets to cancel before the free trial is over.

*Note: You cannot watch regular season games live with this option. You have to wait until after the games are over before you can stream them. You can find more information here.

TV Replays

NFL Network will air condensed replays of a selected group of regular season games throughout the week. To see if/when the Panthers’ game will be replayed, you can check NFL Network’s television schedule for more information.

Roaring Riot Watch Parties

If you’re unable to watch the game via live tv or streaming, or if you prefer to watch in the company of fellow Panthers fans, check out the Roaring Riot to see if there is a watch party in your area. Membership is not required to get in the door, but if you’re interested in purchasing a membership you can find all the information you need here.


The Panthers will wear white uniforms for this game.


If you’re into that sort of thing, you can find info on NFL game odds by clicking here.

Stay tuned for a live update thread when the game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday!

Panthers next four opponents

Week 3: vs Cincinnati Bengals; Sun, Sep 23, 1 p.m. ET

Week 4: BYE WEEK

Week 5: vs New York Giants; Sun, Oct 7, 1 p.m. ET

Week 6: at Washington; Sun, Oct 14, 1 p.m. ET

Week 7: at Philadelphia Eagles; Sun, Oct 21, 1 p.m. ET