Panthers rally to subdue Falcons

Panthers rally to subdue Falcons

Funchess had five receptions on seven targets for 86 yards, and was Cam Newton's safety valve at times when the quarterback needed to leave the pocket.

Atlanta has also struggled to find consistency, but in their comeback win over the New York Jets in Week 8, it seemed as if they found something to work with in the passing game.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 24 of 38 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns.

Though the Falcons would tack on a Tevin Coleman touchdown late to make things interesting, Atlanta lacked execution in the passing game all day. Ryan's fourth-down pass from the Carolina 39 was dropped near the back of the end zone by receiver Julio Jones without a Carolina defender even in the end zone.

Despite a lackluster offense, the Panthers have legitimate playoff hopes thanks to their top-10 defense.

The Panthers are now 6-3, still a half-game behind the 6-2 Saints, who routed the 2-6 Bucs. That Newton led the team in rushing for a fourth straight game is concerning, though.

More news: Texans fear QB Deshaun Watson may have torn ACL

The Falcons committed eight penalties, costing them 70 yards and nullifying some big plays on both sides of the ball. He had a 4-yard touchdown on a pitchout as part of a day in which he had 66 yards rushing and 28 more receiving, including several plays he made for key first downs.

Matt Bryant injured his leg during his successful 53-yard field goal in the first half.

Instead, Adams beautifully undercut a throw to the tight end and then showed some good speed to run the ball all the way back to the Atlanta 31, setting up a go-ahead touchdown.

Carolina has figured out a recipe for success this season.

Sitting at 4-3, the Falcons have a chance to leapfrog the 5-3 Panthers with a win on Sunday. He played through it, making two extra points and was warming up for a potential tying field-goal late in the fourth quarter. Carolina backup TE Chris Manhertz was placed in the concussion protocol in the first half. Atlanta LB Vic Beasley Jr. had one sack, pushing his total to 19.5 since 2016 for the second most in the NFC.

In what could be one of the most exciting matchups of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs will travel to AT&T Stadium to face off against the Dallas Cowboys. Carolina will next host Miami on Monday Night Football in Week 10 before the bye week.