Refocused: Carolina Panthers 20, Atlanta Falcons 17

Chelsea West
November 6, 2017

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers leaps over the Atlanta Falcons defensive line for a first down during the game at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Carolina drafted Christian McCaffery early in the draft and have yet to get him going but perhaps this is Ron Rivera's shift to a run first approach in an attempt to keep Cam Newton off of his back, and if that is the case then moving on from Benjamin and getting something in return may not be such a insane decision after all. Carolina ran for 201 yards, including a career-high 66 and a touchdown from rookie Christian McCaffrey. In the first game without Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers WR Devin Funchess was Newton's favorite target, hauling in five receptions for 86 of Newton's 137 passing yards.

Matt Ryan, last year's NFL MVP, threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns and had one costly first half interception for the defending NFC champion Falcons (4-4), who fell two games behind New Orleans at the midway point of their season. The Falcons were looking like they were the better team in the first half, then Atlanta does what it does best: blow leads.

Late in the second quarter of the Panthers' game against the Falcons, Newton scrambled out of the pocket and towards the end zone. The athletic Newton dived over the goal line and dunked the ball on cornerback Desmond Trufant for the score.

The defense meanwhile will be looking for their own redemption after allowing 780 passing yards and six passing touchdowns in two games past year to Matt Ryan.

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But Jones will likely remember the one he didn't catch.

Atlanta has also struggled to find consistency, but in their comeback win over the New York Jets in Week 8, it seemed as if they found something to work with in the passing game. He ran once for 14 yards.

Falcons: Freeman briefly left the game with 2 minutes remaining after taking a hard shot from safety Kurt Coleman but did return.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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