Surging Falcons Roll Over Panthers and Their Collapsing Defense

NC NighthawkAnalyst INovember 23, 2008

In Atlanta’s biggest game of the season, rookie quarterback Matt Ryan and WR/returner Harry Douglas turned in big plays in the Falcons’ 45-28 victory over first-place Carolina Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons scored 28 fourth-quarter points, a surprising collapse for a Carolina defense that entered the game ranked second in the NFL for fewest points allowed.

With a fourth-and-goal at the 1 with 7:16 remaining, Falcons coach Mike Smith chose to go for the touchdown instead of a field goal: it was the play of the game. Turner ran left and got into the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown.  Douglas later returned a punt for a touchdown and Turner added another score, giving him 13 this year to tie the Falcons’ single-season record.  Turner also tied T.J. Duckett’s single-game scoring record.

With the victory, Atlanta has put themselves into the NFC South Division title race as they improved to 7-4, 2-2 in the division, a game behind Carolina and Tampa Bay. The Panthers, which had won four straight, dropped to 8-3, 2-2.

Sources: The Charlotte Observer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution