Atlanta Falcons defense scores for a second consecutive week
The Atlanta Falcons’ first half went according to the script after an initial Carolina Panthers touchdown with Atlanta taking a 17-7 lead into the half. Cam Newton ran the ball well and led the Carolina Panthers to a 7-0 lead before the Falcons defense forced the Panthers to throw the ball and Atlanta scored 17-straight.
Passing is something Carolina has struggled with since they started the season 3-0 a rough stretch from Sam Darnold, Cam Newton, and P.J. Walker have left the Panthers with little offense if they can’t run the ball.
Realizing this, the Atlanta defense made Carolina pass the ball and feasted forcing two turnovers including a huge play from Mykal Walker.
Mykal Walker capitalized and made the play that benched Newton in favor of P.J. Walker. Walker followed up Newton’s struggles by tossing an interception to A.J. Terrell that ended the first half and gave Atlanta a two-score lead heading into halftime. This was a huge play for Walker one sure to earn him more snaps in the weeks to come.
Matt Ryan is doing just enough to help keep the offense humming feeding Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Davis, and Russell Gage. Despite the Panthers’ struggles on offense, Atlanta cannot be content with 17-points.
Getting an early second-half touchdown would put this one almost out of reach. Newton is not passing the ball with any conviction right now and poses little threat to mount a large comeback.
Ryan and the offense must continue to put together drives even if they don’t end in scores. A huge key to the first half was the fact that the offense was running a lot of plays even when they weren’t putting together a scoring drive.
Keeping the defense fresh and keeping the pressure squarely on Cam Newton and P.J. Walker. Newton or Walker must pass the ball to beat this team, Atlanta cannot give away any easy turnovers or back away from loading the box. A win would allow Atlanta to climb back to 2nd place in their division and put them back into the final wildcard conversation.