Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

BBR 3 Views: Falcons Finish Off 2016 Sweep of Panthers

A Not So Merry Christmas

 

Before Saturday, the Panthers were 5-0 in games played just before Christmas during the Ron Rivera era. Four of those were at Bank of America Stadium with a combined score of 99-49.

Being home for the holidays didn’t work out so well this time.

Carolina was outclassed from the start by Atlanta, who inched closer to clinching the NFC South title with a 33-16 Christmas Eve win.

The Falcons were actually the last and only team to hand Rivera a home loss in December. That 31-23 defeat came all the way back in 2011.

So Saturday’s performance, which included too many moments of suspect effort, snapped Carolina’s 11-game, post-November regular-season home win streak at 11.

 

Bad Cam

 

After quarterback Cam Newton snapped his slump of four straight games with a completion percentage below 50, he was all over the place on Saturday.

Newton was on-target on just 18 of his 43 passes, and while there were at least two or three drops in there, it was easily one of his worst days as a Panther.

The reigning MVP threw two interceptions in the first half for the first time this season and his 44.5 passer rating was the third-worst of his career (39.4 vs NO, 10/30/14; 40.6 vs NYG, 9/20/12).

 

Meanwhile, On the Other Side …

 

If Matt Ryan is named NFL MVP, he should send a thank-you note to the Panthers’ defense.

After completing 26 of his 32 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, here’s his two-game total against Carolina in 2016: 54/69 (78.2 percent), 778 yards, six touchdowns, one interception.

Ryan didn’t go off for 503 yards, and receiver¬†Julio Jones had just four catches for 60 yards, but it’s not like the Panthers forced them to have to do much more.

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