Falcons can't hold early lead in costly loss to Panthers

Falcons can't hold early lead in costly loss to Panthers

In a game that went down to the wire, the Carolina Panthers were able to knock off their arch rivals at home, taking down the Atlanta Falcons 20-17 on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte. Carolina ran for 201 yards and got a career-high 66 yards and a touchdown from rookie Christian McCaffrey.

-Running back Jonathan Stewart lost two fumbles in each of the past two seasons. The Falcons actually looked poised to silence the crowd at Bank of America Stadium after jumping out to a 10-0 lead after one quarter, but they've developed a reputation for blowing such leads.

Atlanta entered the game 27th in the National Football League with a -5 turnover margin, and Carolina entered tied for 29th at -7. He played out of his mind today, as he does most weeks. Ryan's fourth-down pass from the Carolina 39 was dropped near the back of the end zone by receiver Julio Jones without a Carolina defender even in the end zone. Instead, they swept Tampa Bay and Atlanta (4-4) to remain a half-game behind New Orleans (6-2).

Carolina successfully executed the same option pitch the team had previously fumbled against Chicago to score its first touchdown of the game.

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In the second half, it was nearly entirely Carolina Panthers as they were able to win the time of possession behind an effective ground game. Adams left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury, however, and wasn't involved in the Panthers' final stop.

Atlanta holds the all-time series advantage, 27-17.

Palardy also pinned the Falcons within the 20-yard line after Atlanta scored to bring the game within three points. Atlanta LB Vic Beasley Jr. had one sack, pushing his total to 19.5 since 2016 for the second most in the NFC.

After Atlanta rattled off a two-minute, 92-yard scoring drive to come within three points of Carolina with 3:31 to play, the Panthers' offense went three and out after Newton missed a throw while trying to find Samuel on third down and long.

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