Atlanta Falcons vs. Panthers

Refocused: Carolina Panthers 20, Atlanta Falcons 17

Atlanta Falcons vs. Panthers

After taking over on downs at the 50-yard line, the Panthers marched down the field and cut the deficit to 10-7 after a 4-yard run by rookie Christian McCaffrey. On fourth-and-7 from the Carolina 39 in the fourth quarter, the man who may be the best receiver in the National Football League got open by 10 yards in the Panthers end zone.

Devin Funchess had 86 receptions for 5 yards in his first game as Carolina's No. 1 receiver after the team traded Kelvin Benjamin earlier in the week.

Reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan threw two touchdowns, including one in the fourth quarter for the Atlanta Falcons, but his last ditch effort would not be enough to come back over the Carolina Panthers, who utilized a strong second quarter and two third quarter field goals from Graham Gano to hold on and defeat Atlanta, 20-17.

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But Carolina scored two touchdowns in the final 2:35 of the first half to take a 14-10 lead into the locker room. The Falcons were looking like they were the better team in the first half, then Atlanta does what it does best: blow leads.

Leading the way for the Panthers - as he has several times this season - was Newton. As the ball broke the plane it looked like Newton dunked on Desmond Trufant.

The defense meanwhile will be looking for their own redemption after allowing 780 passing yards and six passing touchdowns in two games a year ago to Matt Ryan.

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JONES OVER 100: With six catches for 118 yards, Julio Jones became the first receiver to surpass 100 yards receiving against the Panthers this season.

Atlanta has also struggled to find consistency, but in their comeback win over the New York Jets in Week 8, it seemed as if they found something to work with in the passing game. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were held to a combined 51 yards on 16 carries.

NEAL WITH THE STRIPS: Falcons safety Keanu Neal had a nice first quarter, forcing Stewart's two fumbles and recovering one.

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It was Watkins' third TD catch of the season; the other two came in a Thursday night game against San Francisco on September 21. The Rams sit in a tie for first place in the NFC West when they face the disappointing New York Giants on Sunday (10 a.m.

Before we make our predictions for the Panthers showdown with the Falcons, let's take a look at how we did last week for the game against the Bucs. Atlanta would hang around until late in the fourth quarter.

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