The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Carolina Panthers, 29-3, at Bank of America Stadium this afternoon. The Falcons defense forced four turnovers as it has not allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters, the only NFL team to do so since the third quarter of Week 8 vs. Seattle.
In the first half, the Falcons defense held Carolina to three three-and-outs while picking off Kyle Allen three times to hold the Panthers to no points. The Panthers did not get on the scoreboard until a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. This is only the second time the Panthers have been shut out after three quarters since 2011. The other was against Philadelphia last year.
The Atlanta defense totaled four interceptions, three of which were in the first half today. The last time the Falcons registered three interceptions in the first half was Sept. 17, 2012, against the Denver Broncos (Robert McClain, Thomas DeCoud and William Moore). The last time the Falcons had at least four interceptions in a regular season game was Nov. 29, 2012, against the New Orleans Saints (William Moore (2), Thomas DeCoud, Sean Weatherspoon and Jonathan Babineaux).
The first occurred on the Panthers' opening drive where De'Vondre Campbell intercepted Allen at Carolina's 30-yard line. That marks Campbell's second career interception, with his first occurring against the Cardinals on Nov. 27, 2016. Desmond Trufant intercepted Allen in the end zone to stop the Panthers from scoring at the start of the second quarter. Trufant missed four games due to a toe injury and has now totaled three interceptions this season, tied for the most in his career. With three seconds left in the half, Ricardo Allen caught the third interception to hold the Panthers to zero points entering the half. Allen has notched an interception in his last three games against the Panthers
The Falcons totaled five sacks on QB Kyle Allen today. Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley and Allen Bailey each had sack on third downs. Adrian Clayborn registered two sacks, including one on fourth down, marking his third career game with multiple sacks. Beasley and Clayborn also have had back-to-back games with sacks.
Matt Ryan completed 21-of-31 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown for an 111.1 QB rating. Ryan's six-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley put him at 255 passing yards for the day, which pushed him over Warren Moon for the 10th-most passing yards in NFL history. The 12-year pro has totaled 49,383 passing yards.
Ridley tied a career high with eight receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown in today's game. Ridley has now produced a touchdown in each game he has faced the Panthers in his career. This season, the second-year pro has totaled 44 receptions for 614 yards and five touchdowns. This marks Ridley's third 100-yard game of his career.
After forcing the Panthers to punt for the second time in the first quarter, former Panthers Kenjon Barner returned the punt 78 yards for a touchdown. That marks the first Falcons punt return for a score since 2014 (Devin Hester, Sept. 18) and the second-longest punt return for a touchdown in Falcons' history (Deion Sanders, 79 yards, Oct. 28, 1990).
On his first career rush attempt, rookie RB Qadree Ollison recorded a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Ollison finished the day with four carries for 11 yards.
Younghoe Koo converted 38-yard, 23-yard and 29-yard field goals in the Falcons' win today. Having played two games with Atlanta this season, Koo has converted is 7-of-8 field goals and four extra points.
Get an inside look at Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers with top photos from the field at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte