Matt Ryan completed 19 of 28 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons (6-7), who avenged a 19-13 loss to Carolina on Oct. 31.
Cam Newton completed 15 of 28 passes for 178 yards, however he also had two turnovers (one interception, one fumble). Backup quarterback P.J. Walker threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson with 3:11 to play, but Carolina did not get the ball back.
The Panthers (5-8) have lost three games in a row.
Carolina rookie Chuba Hubbard scored on a 17-yard run on the first possession of the second half. Newton ran for 16 yards and threw for 28 yards on the 60-yard drive.
Younghoe Koo’s 38-yard field goal pushed Atlanta’s edge to 20-14. That drive appeared derailed when Jeremy Chinn picked off a Ryan pass, but a roughing-the-passing penalty allowed the Falcons to keep possession.
Newton’s fumble set up the Falcons for their next score. That came in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a 3-yard pass from Ryan to tight end Hayden Hurst, though a failed two-point conversion play left the score at 26-14.
Newton was sacked on fourth down on Carolina’s next possession. So even though the Falcons only picked up 18 yards on the ensuing possession, they ended up with Koo’s 48-yard field goal.
Walker came through with a big play in the first half, breaking a 7-7 tie by stepping in front of Newton’s pass and racing to the end zone midway through the second quarter.
Newton opened the scoring on a 12-yard run to cap the team’s first possession. That was a bright spot for the Panthers, who fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady and made Jeff Nixon the new play caller during their bye week.
Cordarrelle Patterson countered for the Falcons later in the first quarter with a 3-yard scoring run. Patterson became the first player in Falcons franchise history with five receiving and rushing touchdowns in the same season.
The margin was 17-7 at halftime with Koo’s 32-yard field goal.
–Field Level Media