Falcons vs. Panthers final score: Carolina upsets Atlanta

Grant Halverson

Cam Newton and company played from in front the whole game and knocked off the Falcons in a divisional matchup.

Backed by a dominant defensive effort, it was the Cam Newton show in Charlotte on Sunday as he led his Carolina Panthers to a surprising 30-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons came in at 11-1 on the season, but Newton didn't let that stop him. Dominating the game with both his legs and his arm, Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 116 yards and one touchdown. His swagger was back and it flowed through his team throughout the game.

Newton wasn't alone. Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had a great game as well with 109 yards receiving on seven catches as Newton got the ball to seven different receivers.

The Falcons couldn't run the ball and despite Matt Ryan (342 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) and Roddy White's (117 yards, one touchdown) efforts, the Falcons didn't have an answer for the Panthers.

Linebacker Luke Kuechly was all over the field for the Panthers with 16 total tackles (11 solo) to lead their defense.

The loss drops the Falcons to 11-2 on the season and the Panthers improve to just 4-9.

Winners: Newton put on a show both passing and running the ball, bringing Smith right along with him. He was his confident self again and it showed on the field as he made sure his team would go home with a W.

Losers: The Falcons' running backs. Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers combined for only nine carries and 34 yards. That isn't going to cut it.

Video:

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Best/worst stat of the game: The differential in time of possession is the best stat for the Panthers and the worst for the Falcons. The Panthers had the ball for over 11 minutes more.

Fantasy studs/duds: Newton put up 403 total yards with two touchdowns. His owners will love him. White had 100 yards and Smith had 109. But Turner? Eh. Just 13 yards. Womp womp.

Odds/Gambling: The Falcons were 3.5-point favorites and were blown out.

Next team on the schedule: The Falcons play the New Orleans Saints on Thursday with the Panthers facing the San Diego Chargers in San Diego.

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