The Carolina Panthers dominated on the ground for 131 yards. Running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams both had over 40 yards rushing, while fullback Mike Tolbert and Newton each added a touchdown on the ground.
The passing game wasn’t quite as affective. Newton was 23-of-37 for 249 yards and a touchdown to tight end Greg Olsen in the second quarter. However, Newton’s two second-quarter interceptions allowed the Falcons in the game, down only 14-10 going into halftime.
However, the Falcons never scored again.
While the Panthers running game excelled, the Falcons running game continued to struggle for only 78 yards, even with Steven Jackson back in the lineup.
Falcon’s quarterback Matt Ryan really struggled without top wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. Ryan was 20-of-27 for 219 yards, and a touchdown, but his three second-half interceptions, including a pick-six to Carolina cornerback Drayton Florence, put the game out of reach for the Falcons. Future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who says he’s happy he wasn’t traded, had six receptions for 81 yards and touchdown.
With the win, Carolina is 5-3 and are looking to be a potential playoff team. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ offseason Super Bowl hopes are all but over at 2-6.