By David McDonnell
The Carolina Panthers got their revenge having lost to the Falcons 10 days ago and they were impressive on defence all night, as their best player on the night D’Onte Foreman ran for 130 yards and a touchdown.
The first points of the game came from the boot of Eddy Pineiro. Ten days ago he missed two kicks that would have beaten the Falcons and you could see Eddy’s relief when his first effort bounced off the upright and over the bar.
In the second quarter, P.J. Walker threw to Laviska Shenault out wide in motion and the receiver tore up the left wing after two great blocks by his fellow receivers to go untouched for a touchdown.
The Carolina O-line and D-Line were dominating the first half and a poor pass into traffic by Marcus Mariota saw him picked by Jaycee Horn. It wasn’t a surprise as the Atlanta QB was dicing with throwing a turnover all game. It led to another Carolina field goal but Younghoe Koo replied with a field goal himself to leave the Falcons trailing 3-13 at half time.
The visiting side started the second period brighter and they went back to running the ball a lot more and Mariota, whose 45% of his drop backs this season are on play action, duly found Drake London in the endzone to close the gap.
Walker riposte saw him lead the Panthers up the field and Foreman, who had been impressive running the ball all evening, got himself into the endzone. Pineiro added the PAT and later added a field goal.
In the fourth quarter Mariota took his side on a 97-yard drive which resulted in a touchdown pass to KhaDarel Hodge to make it a one score game.
Although Mariota did get the ball back with two minutes remaining, he was bottled up by the Panther defence and Pineiro added a late kick to leave the score 15-25.