Updated: Nov 19, 2019
The Falcons’ stifling defense became too much for the young Carolina rookie QB Kyle Allen, who threw his career-high 4 interceptions. The Falcons rolled on to their second straight win, following their surprising blowout against the New Orleans Saints.
The Falcons opened up the game with a field goal, spearheading an 8-play 55-yard drive. And immediately straight off from the gate, Panthers threw an interception, not even a minute into their drive, giving the Falcons decent playing field to attack. However, the Falcons failed to use the extra opportunity and missed their field goal. With missed opportunities on both sides, the Panthers’ luck began to dry, as the first quarter was close to winding down. As the Panthers' offensive woes led to another unsuccessful drive, the special teams of Panthers failed to follow through with their roles, as the punt returner from Falcons Kenjon Barner returned it for 78 yards for a touchdown, closing the quarter with 10-0 lead.
In the Panthers next drive, in what looks like a promising first scoring drive, the Panthers were cutting through the Falcons defense, finally reaching into the Falcon’s territory. However, similar to their first drive, Allen threw another interception, but this time, the Falcons converted it into a field goal, pushing their lead to a 13-0 lead. As the Panthers punted in their next drive, the Falcons took the opportunity to push their lead to a 3-possession advantage. Matt Ryan was sensational, throwing to 3 different receivers, and connecting Julio Jones for a long 48-yard reception, while Qadree Ollison finished the drive with an astonishing 2-yard drive. With time pressuring, Allen pushed the ball up, trying to make something out of nothing and attempting to get a score before halftime. However, in a disastrous half, as the Panthers were close to a field goal range and in one of the last plays of the first half, Allen threw another interception, his third for the half and tying for his career worst, which happened weeks ago in his worst loss as a starter against the 49ers.
Panthers still are in the hunt for a playoff spot, but their loss against the Falcons did cut their chances slimmer, as the room for error is growing narrower and narrower as the season is closing in. Panthers’ only shot is to win a wildcard spot, competing with the Rams, Vikings, Seahawks, and Eagles for that spot, as the division title Saints has a comfortable lead of 3 games ahead of the Panthers. Panthers’ next game is at their division title Saints’ field.
Falcons are tied for the third-worst record in the NFC conference with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals. It remains in question whether the Falcons should continue competing in these next couple of games, as they are more than 5 wins away from winning the NFC South Division, despite beating both division rivals in Saints and Panthers. Falcons continue to look to compete in their winning ways against the struggling Buccaneers.