Week 5: Panthers Defense Bails Out Ineffective Offense to Move to 5-0

Discussion in 'Game Summaries & Team News' started by LtJustice, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

    Jul 22, 2010
    [​IMG] vs. [​IMG]

    Despite being polar opposites in the standings, the Carolina Panthers (4-0) knew they could not take the rival Atlanta Falcons (0-4) lightly in their week 5 matchup. The Panthers may have done just that; as an early lead seemed to give the Panthers a false sense of security against the always dangerous Falcons. With the Panthers offense not producing, appearing to have stayed in the locker room after the half, the Carolina D took it upon themselves to score two late touchdowns and slam the door on the comeback minded Falcons and secure the 28-13 victory.​

    1st Quarter:

    On the first play from scrimmage, the Panthers defense would force the first of six turnovers on the day for the Falcons offense. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan would suffer his first of 4 interceptions as he looked to connect with receiver Julio Jones across the middle of the field. Jones was blanketed by Panthers rookie cornerback Wesley Orange, who snagged his 3rd career interception and returned it 16 yards to the Atlanta 14 yard line.

    After being stuffed by the Falcons defense on back to back runs, the Panthers offense would find success as quarterback Cam Newton would find receiver Greg Little all alone in the back of the endzone for a 14 yard touchdown pass and an early 7-0 Carolina lead.

    The Falcons seemed to bounce right back, as they proceeded to grind out a clock eating 80 yard drive all the way to the Carolina 1 yard line. The Carolina defense would stiffen and, with a great goal line stand, would hold the Falcons to an 18 yard field goal to cut the Carolina lead to 7-3.

    2nd Quarter:

    On the ensuing possession, the Panthers would suffer their only turnover of the game as receiver A.J. Green was drilled by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, as Green made a short catch over the middle. The ball would be pounced on by former Panther Chase Blackburn, to give the Falcons possession.

    The Falcons offense would suffer another first play turnover to kill a drive before it started, as Panthers All Pro defensive end Charles Johnson would sack Ryan on 1st down and knock the ball lose. Carolina defensive tackle Tommy Kelly would pounce on the lose ball to give the Panthers possession once again.

    Carolina's offense would fail to capitalize on the opportunity, as they were held to a 3 and out by the Atlanta defense.

    The Panthers defense would continue to force Atlanta mistakes, as linebacker Jon Beason would force a fumble by the usually sure handed Michael Turner. Orange would make another huge play, as he secured the loose ball, to give the Panthers offense possession at the Atlanta 15 yard line.

    The Panthers would not squander this opportunity, as halfback Taiwan Jones would scamper into the endzone for a 15 yard touchdown and a 14-3 Carolina lead early in the 2nd.

    Both teams would be held to back-to-back punts, to once again give the Falcons the ball with just over a minute and a half to go in the 2nd quarter. Atlanta would strike quickly, as Ryan found receiver Roddy White behind the Carolina defense for a 53 yard touchdown. 14-10 Carolina lead

    The Panthers would drive down field, just outside of field goal range, with just seconds left on the clock. With just 6 seconds to go, rather than attempt a ridiculously long field goal try, the Panthers ran an option run to Taiwan Jones in an attempt to move a bit closer. On this Play, Jones decided to go beast mode and broke no less than 3 tackles on his way to a 20 yard gain that killed the clock. 14-10 Carolina lead at the half.

    3rd Quarter:

    The Panthers would receive the ball to open the 3rd, only to be held to a 3 and out.

    Following the Carolina punt, the Falcons would put together a short drive that stalled on the Panthers 33 yard line. Rather than attempt the 50 yard field goal, the Falcons elected to go for it on 4th and 2. The Panthers defense would do what they did all game, and come up big when they needed it the most, as they forced an incomplete pass to give the ball back to Carolina on downs.

    The Panthers offense would once again fail to move the ball, as Newton missed a wide open Wilkerson for a sure touchdown, and punted the ball back to the Falcons.

    4th Quarter:

    The Falcons would put together another long possession, that ended without a touchdown, as their drive stalled at the Carolina 12 yard line. Facing a 4th and 1, down 4 points, and with just over 4 minutes to go in the game, Atlanta elected to put their faith in their stout defense and kick the 29 yard field goal. 14-13 Carolina lead with just under 4 minutes to go in the game

    The move appeared to pay off for the Falcons, as they forced a Carolina punt that would give the Falcons the ball at their own 9 yard line with just over 2 minutes left to play.

    The Panthers defense had other ideas though, as on the first play of the possession cornerback Chris Gamble would jump an out route by Roddy White. Gamble would pick off the Ryan pass and return it 21 yards for the score to push the Panthers lead to 21-13.

    After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff; the Falcons were still in it, down just 8 points, and had 80 yards of field in front of them with 2:03 on the clock. Ryan would attempt to connect with Turner in the flat, only to have Beason read the play perfectly and get into position for the interception. Beason would secure the pick and return it for the Panthers 2nd consecutive 21 yard pick 6. 28-13 Panthers lead with just under 2 minutes to go in the game.

    The Falcons weren't ready to lay down and die just yet, and Ryan looked to connect on a deep pass. Gamble would play center field and came up with the deep bomb for his 2nd interception of the game to secure the Panthers 28-13 victory.

    With the victory, the Panthers move to 5-0 on the season and hold a 1.5 game division lead over the idle New Orleans Saints. The Panthers travel to New Orleans in week 6 to take on Coach Rob and those 3-1 Saints. With a victory in New Orleans, the Panthers could go up 2.5 games on the Saints in the NFC South, and more importantly a win would give Carolina a season sweep and they would hold the end of season tiebreaker over New Orleans.


    GG Rod! Always a pleasure!
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