Matt Ryan and Julio Jones helped carry the Atlanta Falcons to a 48-33 upset win over the Carolina Panthers.
The Atlanta Falcons went coast-to-coast offensively the past two weeks. In last week’s win over the New Orleans Saints, Julio Jones did not make a huge contribution to the win. In this week’s win, Jones went for over three hundred years receiving, allowing Ryan to toss for over five hundred total yards.
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After defeating the Panthers, a team that many had penciled into the be the team to beat in the NFC, the Falcons know have a legitimate claim for ‘best team in the NFC South.’
Although many expected the Falcons defense to be a liability, in the first half of the game, the only true liability the Falcons had was when Ryan threw an interception that Carolina turned into a touchdown.
The second half of the game went a little differently for the Falcons defense. Coming out of the third quarter, the Falcons defense was able to absorb all of the attacks launched by the Panthers. However, in the final quarter of the game, the Falcons gave up 23 points.
While it is worrisome for the Falcons defense to surrender 23 points in crunch time, hats off to Dan Quinn for helping this Falcons defense turn into a sleeping giant.
Moving forward, my prediction is that the media will blame this game on Cam Newton’s poor performance, instead of correctly awarding credit to Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ o-line, Kyle Shanahan, and the defensive line.