Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Panthers run for 201 yards in 20-17 win over Falcons

Refocused: Carolina Panthers 20, Atlanta Falcons 17 Panthers run for 201 yards in 20-17 win over Falcons
Kelvin Reese | 06 November, 2017, 02:04

Carolina drafted Christian McCaffery early in the draft and have yet to get him going but perhaps this is Ron Rivera's shift to a run first approach in an attempt to keep Cam Newton off of his back, and if that is the case then moving on from Benjamin and getting something in return may not be such a insane decision after all.

The win keeps the Panthers (6-3) a half-game behind the Saints in the NFC South after New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 30-10. McCaffrey, in his best performance of the season by far, managed 66 yards and the touchdown on 15 carries. The offense will face a new challenge as they try to get back on track with this being the first game without Kelvin Benjamin after the trade. The Falcons were looking like they were the better team in the first half, then Atlanta does what it does best: blow leads.

McCaffrey scored his first rushing touchdown of his career on a pitch from Newton to cut Atlanta's lead to 10-7. The athletic Newton dived over the goal line and dunked the ball on cornerback Desmond Trufant for the score. Things would have looked really different had Falcons' receiver not dropped what would have been a 39-yard touchdown with eight minutes remaining in the game, but luckily for the Panthers the All-Pro receiver couldn't bring it in despite being 10 yards clear of a defender. The Falcons entered the game having beaten Carolina three times in a row.

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RECEIVER ROTATION: Rookie Curtis Samuel started for the Panthers as the No. 2 wide receiver opposite Funchess and had three catches for 23 yards.

NEAL WITH THE STRIPS: Falcons safety Keanu Neal had a nice first quarter, forcing Stewart's two fumbles and recovering one. Adams left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury, however, and wasn't involved in the Panthers' final stop.

Before we make our predictions for the Panthers showdown with the Falcons, let's take a look at how we did last week for the game against the Bucs.

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