The Carolina Panthers rang in the year 2011 by playing their last regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Televised by Fox and narrated by Dick Stockton and Charles Davis, the first quarter began with the Falcons on offense. Five minutes later, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez. Atlanta 7 and Carolina 0. Nearing the latter half of the quarter, Falcons running back Michael Turner lost control of the ball mere yards from the Panthers end zone. Although the Panthers recovered the loose ball, the Falcons soon increased their lead with an Eric Weems kick-returned TD. Atlanta 14 and Carolina 0.
Four minutes into the second quarter and Panthers running back Mike Goodson lost control of the ball; Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson recovered it. Unfortunately, Atlanta couldn’t capitalize on that turnover. By the end of the quarter, though, the Falcons made up for previous wobbles with a Roddy White TD. Atlanta 21 and Carolina 0.
The Panthers finally put some numbers on the board via a fifty-three yard John Kasay field goal in the third quarter. Matt Bryant put a forty-seven yard FG through not too long afterward. Atlanta 24 and Carolina 3. SWEET SOLEDAD SOUR PATCH KIDS!!! Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson intercepted Panthers Jimmy Clausen’s pass in the middle of the third quarter! Falcons running back Michael Turner sliced into the end zone with two minutes left in the quarter. Atlanta 31 and Carolina 3.
Chris Redman took over quarterbacking duties for Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter. With half a minute left in the game, Jimmy Clausen and tight end Jeff King connected for a TD. Atlanta 31 and Carolina 10. Final score. FALCONS WIN DIVISION!!!!
Observations & Miscellania:
1. The red-jersey-white-pants of the Falcons and the white-blue-accented-jerseys-and-pants of the Panthers created a nice visual juxtaposition.
2. Pour la premiere fois, je souhaite que Charles Davis serait cesser de parler.
3. The telecast cut to a commercial break at the top of the fourth quarter, but not before showing footage of a Dirty Bird dressed in Madea-inspired garb getting its groove on in the end zone.
4. Falcons owner Arthur Blank walked up and down the sidelines talking to each of the players. With under a minute left in the game, he got Gatoraded.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 23 to 13! Atlanta will get home field advantage in the playoffs!