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Falcons Fall in NFC South Title Game

The Atlanta Falcons take on the Carolina Panthers in a must-win game for the NFC South title at the Georgia Dome. Here are pictures of gameday.

The Atlanta Falcons squandered a chance to punch their ticket to the postseason Sunday, falling behind in the first half by 21 points on the way to a 34-3 Carolina Panthers win in the Georgia Dome.

The Week 17 loss ends the Falcons' season as the winner would move on to be the No. 4 seed in the NFC playoffs. For the Panthers, they end up being the first team in NFC South history to repeat as division champions.

Turnovers and missed opportunities marred the Falcons' effort to earn the division title Sunday as the Panthers jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead before the wheels started to fall off for the Falcons. Atlanta drove inside the Panthers' 5-yard line and was in prime position to add a touchdown when fullback Patrick DiMarco hit the flat wide open and dropped a sure touchdown pass.

On the next two Falcons drives, quarterback Matt Ryan delivered an interception to Roman Harper, who took it 31 yards for a touchdown.

The Falcons looked to get something going on the next drive, but a completion to Roddy White ended in a fumble that was recovered by the Panthers, who turned that into seven points.

The turnovers continued into the second half as Ryan threw an 86-yard pick-six with the Falcons having one last gasp to attempt a comeback.

With the loss, the Falcons finish in third place in the NFC South, behind Carolina and New Orleans with a 6-10 record.

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