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Atlanta Falcons defeat rival Carolina Panthers 30-28

The Falcons pulled out a last second victory against the Carolina Panthers today. A drive that started on the Falcons’ one yard line ended with a game winning field from the 23 yard line. As the game began the Falcons’ looked shaky. The first drive ended on a three and out while the defense gave up a touchdown that gave the Panthers the early lead. The Falcons’ defense struggled to get pressure on Cam Newton throughout the game, but was able to come up with several key stops.
One play that stuck out to me because of its originality was the fullback dive with a fake halfback pitch that the Falcons ran. Julio Jones was put in as the halfback and Michael Turner. This play was pretty successful with Turner gaining about 15 yards. I really liked the creativity that the coaches showed with this play.
Matt Ryan had one interception on the day that was the result of a poor decision in the Red Zone. I was very impressed by him otherwise despite the pressure that Carolina was able to generate. Matt Ryan had several key throws and was able to drive down the length of the field twice at the end of the game to score the two field goals we needed to pull out the win. I would say that with these two late game drives that came away with necessary points Matt Ryan certainly upheld his moniker “Matty Ice”. Michael Turner had his best game of the season gaining 171 total yards and a receiving touchdown, the first of his career. Julio Jones was largely held in check today, but this freed up Roddy White to have a great game. I think this is the way that Roddy and Julio complement each other. The opposing defense must decide to focus on one or the other and this frees the other to have a great game.
The Falcons’ defense struggled to stop Can Newton and the Carolina offense from moving the ball down the field. There were several plays where the defense would get pressure on Cam Newton only to see him escape downfield for a good chunk of yardage. The Falcons’ defense did not have as good a day as they have in other games this season. I think this was because they may have overlooked the Panthers or were unprepared for the offensive strategy that Carolina prepared.
This game was quite a nailbiter, but the Falcons came away with the victory to move to 4-0 and remain first in the NFC South.

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