The Falcons showed resiliency this week with a 45-28 win over the Carolina Panthers. They are now 7-4 and are within a game of the NFC South division lead as the Panthers drop to 8-3. Atlanta started with a strong 17-0 lead. The Panthers were able to cut the game to 24-21 with 11 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. But the Falcons responded, driving 74 yards on 7 plays to go up 31-21. After holding the Panthers on the subsequent drive, Harry Douglas was able to put the nail into the coffin with a 61-yard punt return touchdown.
Matt Ryan led the Falcons with 259 yards, completing 17 of 27 attempts. Michael Turner had a big game with 4 touchdowns along with 117 yards on 24 carries on the ground. Douglas added his own rushing score on a 7-yard scamper. Douglas tied for the lead among receivers with 4 catches with 92 yards receiving. Roddy White and Michael Jenkins both had 4 catches for 70 and 48 yards, respectively.
Defensively, the Falcons got off to a very promising start, keeping the Panthers offense out of the endzone and only allowing 1 third down conversion on 7 attempts in the first half. Erik Coleman led defenders with 9 tackles. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack), Jonathan Babineaux (2 tackles), Michael Boley (7 tackles), Keith Brooking (7 tackles), Chauncey Davis (4 tackles, 2 sacks), Domonique Foxworth (4 tackles), Chevis Jackson (4 tackles), Curtis Lofton (5 tackles), and Lawyer Milloy (4 tackles) had noteworthy games.
Jason Elam connected on his lone field goal attempt of 23 yards. Michael Koenen had 4 punts for an average of 43 yards. Jerious Norwood averaged 15.7 yards on 3 kickoff returns. Douglas had 3 punt returns for an average of 31 yards with the touchdown.
Next week the Falcons will travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers. The Falcons have won four straight against the Chargers. All-time, the Falcons are 4-0 on the road against the Chargers and 6-1 overall.