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Week 15: What happened in Falcons road loss to Panthers

The Falcons move to 6-8 on the season after their Week 15 rematch with the Panthers.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers drained seven minutes and 35 seconds off the clock to ultimately defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 9-7, Sunday with a walk-off field goal at Bank of America Stadium.

Below is how every game recap this 2023 season will be broken down by quarter for right-at-the-buzzer consumption, starting with a note that Atlanta won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. New Orleans started with the ball.


The weather wasn't the only thing dreary about the start of Sunday's game. It was 47 degrees at kickoff, with consistent rain. Just about every fan was in a poncho or at least some type of waterproof jacket.

And then neither team scored in the opening 15 minutes.

(NOTE: The last time the Falcons scored a touchdown on their first offensive drive was in Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Atlanta ultimately won that game, 16-13. … Also, the last time the Falcons did not put up any points in the first quarter was Week 13 against the New York Jets. Atlanta ultimately won that game, 13-8. It, too, was a rain fest.)

Since there were no scoring plays to note, let's take a look at the stats sheet. The Falcons netted 55 yards, while the Panthers had 33. Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier led both teams with 29 yards rushing on seven carries. Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder led both teams with 25 yards passing on three completions out of five attempts. And then Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts led both teams with 10 yards receiving on one catch.

Scoring plays:


End Q1: 0-0, all


It wasn't until the 6:06 mark that something noteworthy happened. Ridder completed a deep 56-yard pass to tight end Jonnu Smith, bringing the Falcons from their own 37-yard line to the Panthers' 7-yard line. From there, running back Bijan Robinson picked up five more yards on the ground. And then, Ridder completed a short pass to running back Cordarrelle Patterson for a 2-yard touchdown.

The Panthers were able to get into the Falcons' red zone but failed to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Carolina put together a 12-play, 65-yard drive that was capped off with a 34-yard field goal by kicker Eddy Pineiro.

That's all the two teams were able to come up with in the first half.

The stat sheet at the halfway point showed the Falcons with 137 net yards, Panthers with 112. Each team punted four times for a combined 88.8 yards.

Scoring plays:

Falcons: Desmond Ridder 2-yard pass to Cordarrelle Patterson; Younghoe Koo PAT … 7-0, ATL
Panthers: Eddy Pineiro 34-yard field goal … 7-3, ATL

Halftime: 7-3, ATL


Things essentially went the same way as the first quarter, with neither team adding to their score. But then the Panthers got a spark of life after a defensive turnover toward the end of the period. Falcons running back Bijan Robinson fumbled and lost the ball. Panthers cornerback Troy Hill forced and recovered it, giving Carolina possession at the Atlanta 24-yard line.

The Panthers were able to pick up an addition 11 yards before the clock ran out. Of course, Carolina kept the ball to start the fourth quarter, though. So, the Panthers took over at the Falcons' 13-yard line. 

Before getting there, Falcons defensive lineman Ta'Quon Graham deserves quick recognition for his sack of Panthers quarterback Bryce Young. It was the first sack of Graham's career, which is in its third season.

Scoring plays:


End Q3:  7-3, ATL


Well, the Panthers were unable to capitalize on their red-zone appearance, again. Pineiro was set up with a 25-yard field goal instead, and he made it. The drive consisted of six plays for 17 net yards.

The Falcons were later 18 yards away from extending their lead. But then Ridder threw an interception, missing the targeted Patterson. Panthers safety Xavier Woods was responsible for the pick at the Carolina 3-yard line. He returned it two yards.

This time, the Panthers used the turnover in the best way possible for themselves: to win the game. The offense made moves down the field with a 17-play, 51-yard drive. Young took a knee three times before Pineiro came out to give the Panthers the victory with a 23-yard field goal.

Scoring plays:

Panthers: Eddy Pineiro 25-yard field goal … 7-6, ATL
Panthers: Eddy Pineiro 23-yard field goal … 9-7, CAR

Final: 9-7, CAR

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers during Week 15.

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