Panthers Vs. Falcons, Week 4: After game slips away from Carolina, defense comes under fire

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Carolina's defensive effort in the fourth quarter comes under fire after the Panthers give up a late lead.

With the Carolina Panthers leading the Atlanta Falcons late in the fourth quarter, the Panthers defense was unable to hold on to the lead, a result which threw into sharp relief the work still needed to be done for some of the Panthers faithful.

Over at Cat Scratch Reader, blame fell upon the defense, and most specifically free safety Haruki Nakamura, who was burned multiple times in key situations on Sunday.

This one is going to sting for a few days. Ron Rivera needs to do some soul searching. He had to choose between going for it on 4th and 1 around midfield or trust his defense. I'm not sure either option would have resulted in a Panthers win but putting the game on the defense was not the right choice obviously.

Nakamura had his first Pro INT he was also victimized for two TDs and Hail Mary pass at the end that led to the game winning FG. It will be interesting to see if the Panthers make a change with Sherrod Martin on the bench.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who had come under fire recently for his poor start to the 2012 season, had a big game, but it proved too little for the Panthers when the final gun sounded. It was Newton's fumble on a play that could have clinched the game for the Panthers that had the bloggers most frustrated.

Newton was 15 for 24 for 205 yards for 2 TDs plus another 86 yards and a TD rushing. But the play that killed us was the fumble on a 3rd down rush that cost the 1st down that would have clinched the game.

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