ATLANTA, GA -- The Carolina Panthers suffered their first loss of the season to division rival Atlanta on Sunday. The Falcons held on for a 31 to 24 victory lead by former league MVP, Matt Ryan, who scored four total touchdowns. Two of those scores came on the ground including the eventual game winning-score which came midway through the 4th quarter on an 8-yard scramble out of the pocket.
Carolina was led by their former league MVP, Cam Newton, who threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns. For the second consecutive week, Newton led the team in rushing with 42 yards on the ground. However, starting running back Christian McCaffery hauled in a career high 14 receptions for 102 yards.
There was no love lost between the two arch rivals when there was a scuffle in the second quarter. On 4th down, Newton scrambled out of the pocket to pick up the first down but as he slid to the ground to give himself up on the play, Demontae Kazee delivered a late cheap shot to the head, which led to both teams squabbling before cooler heads prevailed. Kazee was eventually ejected and Newton would finish off the drive with a touchdown pass to Jarius Wright giving Carolina a 10-3 lead.
From there, the Falcons would score 21 unanswered and control the game up until the 4th quarter when Newton hit D.J. Moore for a 50-yard pitch and catch to make it a one possession game. Carolina would get one more chance to tie it toward the end of regulation but a last second heave to the end zone would be dropped by the 1st round draft pick, Moore.
Carolina is now 1-1 on the season and they will return to Bank of America Stadium for a home tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.