Atlanta Falcons: Five things we learned in win over Panthers

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5) Cam Newton was outplayed by his hometown team

Dec 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Headed into the game, Cam Newton couldn’t have been in a better position. His team sat at a perfect 14-0 record and he was coming back to the town he grew up in to play a team in which he grew up idolizing.

Midway through the first quarter it appeared that Newton was going to put yet another big day together after rushing for an 8-yard touchdown on the Panthers’ opening possession. Newton made his way to the back of the end zone and rocked a football to sleep but by games end, it was his play that would up taking a nap.

Newton was 0-of-7 on third and fourth down in the game and threw for just 142 yards on 17 of 30 passing. Newton’s 142 passing yards was his second fewest of the season and did not throw a touchdown pass for only the second time in 2015.

Newton was never able to get into a flow after the Panthers’ opening possession and averaged just 4.73 yards per pass which is his lowest of the season. Instead of sticking around after the game to congratulate the Falcons, Newton sprinted off the field after acknowledging Matt Ryan for roughly two seconds.