Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17

Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Matt Ryan threw for 281 yards and ran for a touchdown, Younghoe Koo made four field goals and the Atlanta Falcons held on to beat the Carolina Panthers 25-17 on Thursday night to avoid a series season sweep.

The Falcons (2-6) have had a penchant for squandering leads this season, coming into the game 1-3 when leading entering the fourth quarter. Carolina was driving late, but Atlanta stalled the rally when Blidi Wreh-Wilson intercepted Teddy Bridgewater near the Falcons’ 10-yard line with 1:04 remaining.

Todd Gurley grinded out 46 yards rushing and a touchdown, Julio Jones added 137 yards receiving and the Falcons defence limited the Panthers to 2 of 10 on third down conversions to improve to 2-1 since Raheem Morris replaced Dan Quinn as head coach. The win came in front of a crowd of 5,240 due to COVID-19.

Bridgewater tried to spur Carolina to a comeback after Koo missed an extra point that would have made it a two-possession game.

Bridgewater, who was knocked out of the game for two possessions with a neck injury following a late hit that resulted Charles Harris being ejected, took over with the Panthers down by eight points. He completed a 35-yard strike to D.J. Moore on third and 18 to move the Panthers into Falcons territory. But Bridgewater’s pass was picked off by Wreh-Wilson when he threw a pass up in traffic near the end zone.

Bridgewater was limited to 176 yards passing as the Panthers (3-5) lost their third straight game without injured Christian McCaffrey.

The Falcons avenged a 23-16 loss to Carolina 18 days ago in which Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two scores and Mike Davis piled up 149 yards rushing. Davis was held to 77 yards this time on a wet field where players routinely swapped cleats to adapt to the changing conditions.

Despite a number of penalties and lack of red zone production, the Falcons managed to build a 16-14 halftime lead behind a 13-yard touchdown run by Ryan and three field goals from Koo.

The Panthers had opened a 14-6 lead in the second quarter when Bridgewater found Curtis Samuel for a 29-yard touchdown pass on a well set up flea flicker. It was Samuel’s second TD of the half, scoring earlier on a 12-yard run up the middle to give Carolina its first lead.

The 24-year-old Samuel has three career games with a TD rushing and receiving, which trails only Jerry Rice (5) among wide receivers in the Super Bowl era.

INJURIES

Falcons: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury after making a reception in the red zone and did not return. … Cornerback Kendall Sheffield left the game early with a head injury, but did return.

Panthers: Cornerback Donte Jackson’s lingering toe injury forced him to leave the game early again, and the banged-up Panthers secondary had to finish with rookie Troy Pride and Corn Elder at cornerback spots.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Host the Broncos on Nov. 8

Panthers: Open the second half of the season at the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Nov. 8.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Steve Reed, The Associated Press

NFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Feds spending plan heads to confidence vote as provinces seek more health-care cash

OTTAWA — Provinces are criticizing the federal Liberals for failing to signal… Continue reading

In this Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 file photo, Herman Termeer, 54, stands on the roof of his home as the Blue Ridge Fire burns along the hillside in Chino Hills, Calif. An overheating world obliterated weather records in 2020 — an extreme year for hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves, floods, droughts and ice melt — the United Nations’ weather agency reported Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
UN calls on humanity to end ‘war on nature,’ go carbon-free

As an extreme year for hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves comes to… Continue reading

John Lambert
Military identifies remains of Newfoundland soldier killed in Belgium in 1917

OTTAWA — More than 100 years after a young soldier from Newfoundland… Continue reading

Military police officers carry a bag filled with money left behind by armed bank robbers, in Criciuma, Santa Catarina state, Brazil, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Dozens of criminals armed with assault rifles invaded the city in southern Brazil overnight and took control of the streets as they assaulted a local bank. (Guilherme Hahn/Futura Press via AP)
Massed Brazilian bank robbers attack another city, kill 1

RIO DE JANEIRO — A large gang of heavily armed bank robbers… Continue reading

(Black Press file photo.)
Red Deer city council holds closed-door discussion about proposed aquatics centre

Recommended design, cost and location won’t be made public until next spring

In this May 16, 2019, file photo, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff speaks during a news conference, in Indianapolis. In a deal announced Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, business software pioneer Salesforce.com is buying work-chatting service Slack for $27.7 billion in a deal aimed at giving the two companies a better shot at competing against longtime industry powerhouse Microsoft. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Salesforce buying work-chat service Slack for $27.7 billion

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Business software pioneer Salesforce.com is buying work-chatting service… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks remotely during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony from members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on how to safely open the country and get America back to work and school. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
People magazine reveals its ‘2020 People of the Year’

LOS ANGELES — People magazine has named George Clooney, Dr. Anthony Fauci,… Continue reading

Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, Alta., rides Lunatic Party during saddle bronc rodeo semi-final action at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Sunday, July 14, 2019. Thurston is among five Canadians competing in the 2020 world championship of rodeo Dec. 3-12 in Arlington, Texas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Rough ride to National Finals Rodeo for Canadians in pandemic season

Levi Simpson and his horse Stetson are about to trample the turf… Continue reading

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary's Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season's top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

CP NewsAlert: Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney watches late in the second half of the team's MLS Cup soccer match against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Seattle. Vanney has stepped down as coach of Toronto FC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo-Elaine Thompson
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney steps down, says it’s the right time to move on

Hamilton Forge FC's Giuliano Frano (8) heads the ball against CD Olimpia's Jorge Benguche (9) during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 second half soccer action in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Forge FC looks to win its way into the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday when it takes on Haiti's Arcahaie FC in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF League, a 22-team feeder competition that sends six clubs to CONCACAF's elite club tournament. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Forge FC loses penalty shootout to Haitian side in CONCACAF League quarterfinal

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

Public health must balance science and society: former top doctor

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

Most Read