The Carolina Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak to their longtime divisional rival, the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday before a delighted home crowd in Charlotte. They're finally out of the AFC East and can focus on closing the gap in their own division now.
This is the last thing the Carolina Panthers can afford right now with the offense struggling to put points on the board and the Falcons offense marching up and down the field on the defense. If you can't hang out in front of the couch - which is ideal - or you're out of the viewing area, look into NFL Sunday Ticket or FuboTV. Atlanta fell behind on the first drive, but drew level just before the end of the first quarter with a one-yard flip to Austin Hooper.
But then the offense- which had shown flashes of what it was a year ago- completely lost its mojo.
The Carolina Panthers will get the ball to start the second half. Ryan threw an interception to Mike Adams. Eventually they would find the end zone again in the fourth quarter with Mohamed Sanu, but the game was far closer than it should have been.
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Other workers around the stadium huddled during the long break in bathrooms and the Lost & Found area, which are both heated. Penn State players made use of the post-game media room to try to stretch out and stay loose during the extended break.
The short-yardage stop by Carolina helped flip the momentum of the game and sparked a 14-point run for the Panthers heading into halftime.
Carolina won a low-scoring affair against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-3, with touchdowns from Jonathan Stewart and Kelvin Benjamin bookending the day while the defense harassed Jameis Winston all day, forcing three turnovers and limiting the Bucs to just 279 yards all day. It goes as its best player in inside linebacker Luke Kuechly goes.
The Panthers are now 6-3, still a half-game behind the 6-2 Saints, who routed the 2-6 Bucs. 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.
Carolina built a 20-10 lead on Graham Gano field goals of 31 and 45 yards on the team's first two possessions of the second half, giving the Panthers 20 unanswered points.