Atlanta Falcons report card after humiliating loss to Carolina Panthers


The Atlanta Falcons were humiliated by the Carolina Panthers in a 38-0 defeat. The Falcons’ report card is a mess.

The sooner this season ends for the Atlanta Falcons, the better. Everybody knew the Falcons faced a daunting challenge on the road against the undefeated Carolina Panthers, but 38-0? That’s tough to take.

But as ever, the Falcons must turn their attention to the next game and learn from the defeat. For us, we take a quick look back at how each positional unit played. Want a spoiler? It’s ugly.

Quarterback: F

Matt Ryan‘s struggles are very real, and they continued in Carolina. Ryan wasn’t helped by the rest of the offense, but a team only goes as far as his quarterback, so it’s appropriate the Falcons have dropped seven of their past eight games. It’s been a tough year for Matty Ice, and it got worse on Sunday.

Running backs: F

There wasn’t much joy on the ground for the Falcons. Devonta Freeman ran hard as he always does, but he was unable to do anything outside of one impressive 22-yard burst. Tevin Coleman had three carries for 15 yards and possibly should have had more. Atlanta had to abandon the run when the game got out of hand.

Wide receivers: D

Julio Jones would need an outstanding game for the Falcons to have a chance of winning, but he was kept in check for most of the game. Jones finished with seven catches for 88 yards after one play going for 46 yards. Jones got fortunate early on when he fumbled out of bounds.

Dec 13, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is hit by Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) as defensive end Jared Allen (69) and defensive end Kony Ealy (94) help defend in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tight ends: C-

Jacob Tamme made four catches for 26 yards. That was all the tight ends produced in the passing game.

More from Blogging Dirty

Offensive line: F

To beat the Panthers, you need to protect the passer. Matt Ryan hit the turf three times, and the line allowed two more sacks on Sean Renfree when he entered the game. The line couldn’t open anything for the run game.

Defensive line: F

The defensive line was bullied in the first quarter. They allowed big runs to Jonathan Stewart and couldn’t get much pressure on Cam Newton. The Falcons finished the game with two sacks, but the previously No. 1 ranked run defense gave up 142 on the ground.

Linebackers: F

Paul Worrilow and Justin Durant had eight tackles each. It felt like the Falcons spent all day having to tackle (or miss them).

Secondary: F

It was a rough day for Robert Alford. Alford was burned by Ted Ginn Jr. on a 74-yard touchdown in the first quarter which opened the floodgates. He was called for a few penalties too. It was a long day for the secondary.

Special teams: B+

There wasn’t much the special teams unit could do. Shayne Graham didn’t have to kick once, while Matt Bosher was reliable when punting. Bosher pinned the Panthers inside their own 20 three times on five punts. Devin Hester averaged 31 yards on his two kickoff returns.