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Cam Do Attitude

Steve Smith seals off two defenders allowing Cam Newton to score.
Steve Smith seals off two Falcons defenders allowing Cam Newton to score.


A little over two months ago the Panthers watched their lead and a likely win over the Falcons slip away like pixie dust in a tsunami. According to Carolina head coach Ron Rivera, the young signal caller took it personally. "Atlanta is a big game for him (Cam Newton) because Atlanta's his hometown team and he wants to play well," said Rivera following the Panthers 30-20 win over the Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The win was Newton's first ever over his hometown team. Despite the stoic look during the post-game press conference, this win was special. "Me being from Atlanta it means so much," said Newton. "I get hounded so much when I get in Atlanta by family members, friends, and just being out. This game allows me to have a little chip on my shoulder going back home."

After running for over 100 yards and passing for close to 300, the chip may be considerably weightier than Newton is letting on.

It was a true team effort as eight different offensive players touched the ball on the opening drive. Tight end Greg Olsen kicked off and capped the drive catching a 4 yard pass and a 25 yard touchdown pass.

Atlanta failed to answer 4 more of the Panthers scores giving the home squad a respectable 16 point lead going into halftime.

The lead could have been larger had the Panthers turned two or three of those field goal producing drives into touchdowns. "I think we left about 21 points on the board," said veteran receiver Steve Smith.

Atlanta finally woke up after Carolina punched in their sixth score of the day, a beastly 72 yard jaunt by Newton. Operating primarily out of the shotgun formation, Ryan and company moved the ball 83 yards on 13 plays. It was only fitting that Roddy White- who scored the Falcons first touchdown in the September game-scores the first touchdown for the Dirty Birds in the rematch.

The Falcons offense opened the scoring in the final quarter. Julio Jones turned the short pass from Ryan into an 11 yard touchdown. Atlanta was unsuccessful on the two-point conversion pass to Roddy White. White seemingly made the catch in front of cornerback James Dockery but an official's review of the play ruled the Falcons receiver never had possession of the ball before stepping out of bounds.

In the driver's seat once again Carolina refused to take their foot off the gas as the Falcons made their charge. Trailing by 10 points with 9 minutes remaining on the clock, the Falcons launched a threatening drive. Where the Panthers faltered in game one, they succeeded today. "We have to be mature in those situations and know that we've been in this situation too many times this year and let the ball drop. Greg Hardy backed up his pre-game talk by sacking Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a loss of 7 yards. Two plays later linebacker Thomas Davis ended the threat diving and intercepting a Ryan pass intended for White.

Davis' play energized the offense which needed just 4 plays to capitalize on the turnover. A safe screen pass to DeAngelo Williams on 2 nd and 9 turned into a 53 yard touchdown romp.

Michael Turner ended the days scoring busting in from 1 yard out to cap the Falcons final possession of the game.

Safety Haruki Nakamura who was victimized by the Hail Mary pass in the first game but left this game early to receive medical treatment for an unspecified injury was satisfied with the outcome. "With what happened in the last game there couldn't have been a better way to do it," said Nakamura.






Atlanta Falcons 20 vs Carolina Panther 30
SLIDESHOW


  • Panthers TE Gary Barnidge makes the catch and looks up to find his blockers.

  • DeAngelo Williams gets tackled in mid-jump by a trio of Falcons defenders.

  • Cam Newton fires off a pass against the Falcons defense on the Panthers first offensive series.

  • TE Greg Olsen hauls in a 25 yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton.

  • TE Greg Olsen throws up his arms in celebration after catching a 25 yd touchdown.

  • Panther defenders LB Jason Phillips and S D.J. Campbell stop Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez.

  • Panthers DE Charles Johnson reaches out for Matt Ryan.

  • Panthers DE Charles Johnson holds on to Matt Ryan by a thread.

  • Panthers DT Frank Kearse sacks Falcons QB Matt Ryan.

  • Panthers DE Greg Hardy and Falcons T Byron Bell share a few words.

  • Panthers DE Greg Hardy and Falcons T Byron Bell share a few words.

  • Atlanta fans made the drive up I-85 in full regalia.

  • Cam Newton reads Falcons DE John Abraham and decides-wisely-to hand the all off to DeAngelo Williams.

  • DeAngelo Williams gets squeezed by LBs Sean Weatherspoon and Akeem Dent.

  • Cam Newton releases the ball ahead of the pressure from Kroy Biermann.

  • FB Mike Tolbert attempts to elude S Thomas DeCoud.

  • Cam Newton breaks loose from Corey Peters.

  • Cam Newton scrambles for yards as S Chris Hope comes up to make a play.

  • WR Louis Murphy makes a catch in front of LB Sean Weatherspoon.

  • WR Steve Smith shoots out a stiff arm to CB Dunta Robinson.

  • WR Steve Smith spins out of the tackle along the sideline.

  • The Top Cats perform during a break in the action.

  • The Top Cats perform during a break in the action.

  • FB Mike Tolbert maintains concentration to haul in the flare pass from Newton.

  • WR Steve Smith provides QB Cam Newton with an escort for a 72 yard touchdown run.

  • QB Cam Newton runs down the sideline for a 72 yard touchdown.

  • WR Steve Smith provides the key block to pave the way for Cam Newton to score.

  • WR Steve Smith provides the key block to pave the way for Cam Newton to score.

  • WR Steve Smith provides the key block to pave the way for Cam Newton to score.

  • Cam Newton does a front flip into the endzone.

  • QB Cam Newton lets everyone within earshot know who's field it is.

  • Falcons WR Roddy White looks for running room.

  • Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers eludes the grasp of Panthers S D.J. Campbell.

  • Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers eludes the grasp of Panthers S D.J. Campbell and turns up-field for more yards.

  • Panthers fans donned some interesting attire for the game.

  • Falcons WR Roddy White holds on to the pass for a 4 yard touchdown.

  • Falcons WR Julio Jones makes a diving catch.

  • Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez makes a diving catch in front of LB Luke Kuechly.

  • CB Josh Thomas makes a diving attempt to bring down WR Julio Jones .

  • Falcons WR Julio Jones hurdles over the outstretched Haruki Nakamura for an 11 yard touchdown.

  • Falcons WR is pushed out of bounds on the two point conversion attempt by CB James Dockery. The score was nullified by the officials replay review.

  • Falcons CB Chris Owens comes up to make the hit on Panthers WR Steve Smith.

  • Falcons CB Chris Owens wraps up Panthers WR Louis Murphy.

  • Falcons CB Dunta Robinson uses his body to break up the pass intended for Panthers WR Steve Smith.

  • Falcons WR Roddy White spins to elude the tackle attempt of CB James Dockery.

  • Falcons WR Harry Douglas makes the catch for a 19 yard gain.

  • Thomas Davis is tackled by Roddy White after intercepting Matt Ryan in the 4th quarter.

  • The Top Cats entertain the crowd during a beief break in the action.

  • DeAngelo Williams breaks free of the grasp of Robert McClain and rumbles for a 53 yard score.

  • DeAngelo Williams breaks free of the grasp of Robert McClain and rumbles for a 53 yard score.

  • Gano Graham tops off the DeAngelo Williams score.

  • Falcons WR Julio Jones makes a 17 yard grab in front of CB James Dockery.

  • Falcons WR Julio Jones makes a 17 yard grab in front of CB James Dockery.

  • Panthers S D.J. Campbell oushes Falcons TE Chase Coffman out of bounds after an 11 yard gain.

  • Panthers LB Luke Kuechly stops Falcons WR Roddy White short of the goal line.

  • Falcons QB Matt Ryan daps up a fan as the QB exits the field.

  • Falcons FB Mike Cox and LB Sean Weatherspoon wear the disappointing loss on their faces as they exit the field.




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