Perfect Panthers Trounce Falcons in Division Rivalry
The Carolina Panthers dominated the Falcons on both sides of the ball to keep their record perfect. Cam Newton and the strong defensive unit continue to play arguably the best football in franchise history.
Carolina came out flying and took a 21-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The team didnâ€™t look back as they outplayed the Falcons in every facet of the game. The majority of the starters sat out in the fourth quarter and Carolina still maintained a shutout.
Ted Ginn Jr. made up for his horrendous drops last week with two long TD receptions, blazing by the Falconsâ€™ secondary for 120 yards on his only two catches. The Panthers spread the ball around effortlessly with 10 players completing a catch and 7 players running the ball.
Jonathan Stewart had a big day on the ground, picking up 75 yards on only 10 carries. Fozzy Whitaker proved reliable as a backup halfback, showcasing his elusiveness on a 16-yard scoring scamper.
Norman draped Julio Jones with success on most plays, keeping the league leader in receiving yards out of the end zone. Kurt Coleman recorded his 7th interception on the season, tied for the most in the NFL. He remarkably has an interception in each of the last five games.
Carolina needs to be careful about player health with the end of the season in sight. Greg Olsen, Jonathan Stewart, Luke Kuechly and BenÃ© Benwikere all sustained injuries that kept them out of the game. Cam looked banged up at points as well. The Panthers have considerable depth, but injuries to key players could hurt in the postseason.
The road to perfection is a step closer and 16-0 looks very attainable. The Panthers arenâ€™t worried about staying undefeated as much as booking a trip to Santa Clara and winning a Super Bowl. After todayâ€™s win, the Panthers have locked in a first round bye.
Cam Newton is pulling away in the MVP race, as is Ron Rivera for Coach of the Year. The Panthers have the most players in either first or second in Pro Bowl voting for their respective position in the NFL. This is the most complete team in the NFL right now.