Carolina Panthers stay alive in NFC South with win over Atlanta Falcons

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A stable rain sustained by Tropical Storm Nicole produced some unpleasant conditions in Thursday night’s tilt in between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers came through with a 25-15 success, 11 days after the Falcons beat the Panthers in a wild 37-34 overtime video game at Atlanta.

Carolina Panthers

Don’t laugh, however the Carolina Panthers stay appropriate in the NFC South. As bad as they have actually been, the department has actually been almost as bad and is winnable for a group that is 3-7 after Thursday night’s success over the Falcons. Carolina is just a game-and-a-half behind first-place Tampa Bay (4-5), a group it has actually currently beaten. It’s just a video game behind Atlanta (4-6) with a 1-1 record versus the Falcons. And think about, the Panthers have the very best department record (3-1) and their staying schedule is the 27th hardest in the NFL. New Orleans’ schedule is the seventh hardest and the Bucs’ is 22nd. Again, do not laugh. In 2014, a 3-8-1 Carolina group won its last 4 to win the South and after that a championship game.

Promising pattern: The Panthers topped 169 lawns hurrying for the 3rd time in 5 video games because trading star running back Christian McCaffrey after a Week 6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. They gotten in Thursday balancing 135.7 lawns, 11th finest in the NFL, because Week 7. That number is increasing after the group hurried for 232 lawns versus Atlanta, and D’Onta Foreman is a huge factor. He’s had 3 video games with a minimum of 118 lawns hurrying, topped by 130 versus the Falcons. If Carolina can continue to run the ball and play great defense, it has an opportunity to a minimum of remain in video games.

QB breakdown: PJ Walker wasn’t magnificent, however he didn’t need to be on a night when the running video game remained in high equipment. But did he play well sufficient to keep the beginning task next week versus the Baltimore Ravens? He didn’t see tight end Stephen Sullivan broad open in the very first quarter and was fortunate not to have his attempted pass to DJ Moore in the end zone obstructed. He took a bad sack in the very first half that took Carolina out of basket variety. He appeared reluctant to run, something the Panthers desire him to do more. Looming is Sam Darnold, a quarterback the Panthers may be inclined to offer another shot.

Bold forecast for next week: The Panthers start Darnold, triggered from hurt reserve previously today, versus the Ravens and make Walker the backup. At worst, Darnold is the backup and Baker Mayfield is either non-active or launched. The group truly wishes to get a take a look at Darnold, who was 4-7 as the starter last season. It’ll occur at some time, whether it’s next week or right after that. He’s a gamer the group might think about as a veteran to assist coach whatever quarterback the group chooses in the 2023 draft.

Next video game: at Ravens (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Atlanta Falcons

Just awful.

That’s the very best method to explain the Falcons on Thursday night. In prime-time show for the very first time this season, absolutely nothing worked. Not close.

The offense was inefficient. The defense was permeable. Special groups consisted of kicker Younghoe Koo missing out on 2 additional points for the very first time in his profession. And while the Falcons’ loss to the Panthers does not appear like a blowout on the scoreboard, the Falcons extremely hardly ever appeared like they had an opportunity in the video game.

In a contest that as soon as again might have provided top place in the department and brought them once again to .500, Atlanta will rather lament another missed out on chance to attempt to get to top place in a bad department.

While this does not put the Falcons out of anything since of the ineffectiveness of the department, it does send out Atlanta back into the thick of the mess that is the NFC South. So. Ugly.

Troubling pattern: The Marcus Mariota-Kyle Pitts misconnection continued Thursday. Mariota gotten in touch with Pitts on the 2nd play of the video game. Then he could not discover his tight end once again up until late in the 4th quarter. Mariota and Pitts got in the video game linking on 51% of their passes — worst amongst any quarterback-tight end mix with a minimum of 20 efforts — and Thursday didn’t enhance things at all after simply 2 catches for 28 lawns on 8 targets.

Biggest hole in the tactical plan: After playing the Panthers less than 2 weeks back, when Foreman hurried for 3 goals, Atlanta needed to understand Carolina would be running the ball. And that did not matter. The Panthers ran for 232 lawns on Thursday, totally trimming through the Atlanta defense. The Falcons even cycled through linebackers in the very first half with Rashaan Evans, Mykal Walker and Troy Andersen — and it did not matter.

QB breakdown: More like broken down. This was the worst Mariota has actually looked all season, even if the statistics aren’t as bad as in some other video games. While his 19-of-30, 186-yard, 2-touchdown, 1-interception (2 others were dropped) stat line is second-rate for him, his play was a lot even worse. His deep passes were not on target (a constant concern), and for among the very first times in 2022, his decision-making appeared similarly bad. He wasn’t helped by several low snaps from center Drew Dalman and unsteady offending line play, however it was rather a bad efficiency for Mariota.

Silver lining: Cool minute for KhaDarel Hodge. In his 5th NFL season and 65th NFL video game, Hodge scored his very first getting goal. He has actually used 4 groups, and on profession catch No. 41, he got his very first rating.

Next video game: vs. Bears (1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday)

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