Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers Game Recap (9/16/2018)

The Falcons looked stunning Sunday beating the Carolina Panthers 31-24. Matt Ryan looked reminiscent of his MVP form, completing 23 of 28 passes for 272 yards and threw 2 touchdown passes. He remarkably ran for two rushing touchdowns as well, which matches his most rushing touchdowns in a season. In doing so he made a bit of history.
The Falcons’ rushing game was borderline unstoppable, even with the absence of Devonta Freeman. Against a Panthers defense that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 22 games, Tevin Coleman showed out with 16 carries for 107 yards, making the absence of Devonta Freeman forgotten. Rookie Ito Smith also got his first opportunity to show what he can do, and played phenomenally with 9 carries for 46 yards. Atlanta wound up with 170 rushing yards for the game.
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) celebrates his touchdown with team mates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Takk McKinley and Brian Poole each got their 2nd sacks of the season and superglue safety Ricardo Allen got his first interception of the season off a tipped ball from CJ Anderson. All in all, the Falcons defense played solidly all things considered.
Atlanta lost safety Domantae Kazee for ejection when he laid down a late, helmet-to-helmet hit on Cam Newton. It is not yet known if he will receive further discipline for what was a dangerous hit. Starting left guard Andy Levitre also left the game with an injury, but Wes Schweitzer stepped in and held his own as the Falcons rushing game did not miss a beat.
Eight different players caught passes for the Falcons, including rookie Calvin Ridley who had 4 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Red zone offense was unexpectedly brilliant as well, scoring touchdowns on all four opportunities.
With this momentum the Falcons should feel good going into a big rivalry game against New Orleans, who nearly lost to the Cleveland Browns yesterday.

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