Carolina's 20-17 win over Atlanta began with the Panthers offensive struggling mightily in its first game without Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers offense had their best game of the season rushing the ball with 201 rushing yards thanks to Cam Newton's 86 yards and Christian McCaffrey's 66. It marked the first time Stewart has lost two fumbles and fumbled twice in the same game since coming into the National Football League as a first-round draft pick.
Atlanta nearly made a game of it late, cutting the Carolina lead to 20-17 late in the fourth quarter. He played out of his mind today, as he does most weeks.
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. Sanu did all of his damage in the first half, getting the Falcons on the board with a short six-yard touchdown.
Carolina successfully executed the same option pitch the team had previously fumbled against Chicago to score its first touchdown of the game. They led 10-7 at home against Buffalo at halftime only to lose 23-17. It goes as its best player in inside linebacker Luke Kuechly goes.More news: New Zealand win second T20 against India
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In the fourth quarter, the Falcons were able to make it interesting thanks to a passing touchdown late to Tevin Coleman.
With a tough slate of games ahead, including a pair of non-division matchups against the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons will likely continue to work on executing in third-down situations. Defensive end Mario Addison followed up Horton's sack with one of his own on the next play for a 6-yard loss.
Falcons fans were frustrated about Jones, but just as frustrated with their 2017 Super Bowl runners-up as a whole, as the Panthers rallied from a 10-0 hole to win their second straight game and improve to 6-3.