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NFL Game Summary - Atlanta at Carolina



(Sunday, December 9th)

Final Score: Carolina 30, Atlanta 20

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - It's been a struggle for Cam Newton this season, but the sophomore signal caller had a day reminiscent of his record- setting rookie campaign.

Newton threw two touchdown passes and broke off a 72-yard TD scamper in the Carolina Panthers' 30-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

"With the way he played and the things that he did that shows what potentially what he might become," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said of Newton.

Newton was 23-of-35 for 287 yards and added a career-high 116 yards rushing on nine carries for the Panthers (4-9), who snapped a five-game losing streak to Atlanta.

"This shows what we are capable of," Rivera said. "That's the sad part."

Steve Smith hauled in seven balls for 109 yards in the triumph.

The Falcons (11-2), meanwhile, will have to wait at least another week to clinch a first-round playoff bye.

Matt Ryan tallied 302 of his 342 yards in the second half and finished 34- of-49 with two scores and an interception for Atlanta, which had its three- game winning streak snapped.

"We did not execute up to our standards," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "We didn't play anywhere near our potential ... We have to put this one behind us as soon as possible."

Roddy White caught nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in the setback.

Carolina outperformed Atlanta in all facets of the game through the first two- plus quarters.

On Carolina's initial possession of the second half, Newton faked an inside handoff to DeAngelo Williams and burst through a huge hole along the left side of the line before scampering 72 yards down the left sideline for a 23-0 margin with 11:01 remaining in the third quarter.

To that point, the Panthers outgained the NFC South champs, 356-66, held a 17-4 advantage in first downs and had a 25:56-8:03 edge in time of possession.

Ryan finally got into a groove on the Falcons' second touch of the second half. He was 7-of-9 for 63 yards on the 13-play, 84 yard march, which was capped when White hauled in a 4-yard TD catch.

The Panthers were forced to punt on their next possession and again, Ryan led his troops right down the field.

Ryan found Tony Gonzalez over the middle for an 11-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 before Julio Jones took a wide receiver screen pass for an 11-yard TD. Ryan's pass to White on the two-point conversion was ruled incomplete and Atlanta trailed, 23-13, with 13:57 left in the final frame.

The Falcons defense forced another Carolina punt on its ensuing touch, and Ryan's pass on 4th-and-8 was intercepted by Thomas Davis on Atlanta's next trek.

Williams took a screen pass 53 yards for a score on the fourth play of Carolina's subsequent possession to make it 30-13 with 4:11 left, putting the game out of reach.

Michael Turner's 1-yard TD plunge with under a minute left concluded the scoring.

Earlier, the Panthers, who hadn't won a coin toss all year until Sunday, took their opening touch of the game 77 yards in 11 plays. Greg Olsen made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone for a 25-yard score.

Graham Gano nailed field goals of 24, 41 and 31 yards over Carolina's next three possessions as it took a 16-0 lead into the break.

The Panthers ran 45 plays in the first half, while the Falcons had just 13.

Game Notes

Carolina outgained Atlanta, 270-35, in the first half and 475-362 overall ... The Panthers were 9-of-15 on third down, while the Falcons finished 2-of-8 in those situations.

12/09 19:10:09 ET

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Standings

 2013 American Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-New England 12 4 0 .750 444 338 8-0 4-4 4-2 9-3
NY Jets 8 8 0 .500 290 387 6-2 2-6 3-3 5-7
Miami 8 8 0 .500 317 335 4-4 4-4 2-4 7-5
Buffalo 6 10 0 .375 339 388 4-4 2-6 3-3 5-7
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Cincinnati 11 5 0 .688 430 305 8-0 3-5 3-3 8-4
Pittsburgh 8 8 0 .500 379 370 5-3 3-5 4-2 6-6
Baltimore 8 8 0 .500 320 352 6-2 2-6 3-3 6-6
Cleveland 4 12 0 .250 308 406 3-5 1-7 2-4 3-9
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Indianapolis 11 5 0 .688 391 336 6-2 5-3 6-0 9-3
Tennessee 7 9 0 .438 362 381 3-5 4-4 2-4 6-6
Jacksonville 4 12 0 .250 247 449 1-7 3-5 3-3 4-8
Houston 2 14 0 .125 276 428 1-7 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Denver 13 3 0 .813 606 399 7-1 6-2 5-1 9-3
x-Kansas City 11 5 0 .688 430 305 5-3 6-2 2-4 7-5
x-San Diego 9 7 0 .563 396 348 5-3 4-4 4-2 6-6
Oakland 4 12 0 .250 322 453 3-5 1-7 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
 2013 National Football Conference Standings 
East Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Philadelphia 10 6 0 .625 442 382 4-4 6-2 4-2 9-3
Dallas 8 8 0 .500 439 432 5-3 3-5 5-1 7-5
NY Giants 7 9 0 .438 294 383 4-4 3-5 3-3 6-6
Washington 3 13 0 .188 334 478 2-6 1-7 0-6 1-11
 
North Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Green Bay 8 7 1 .531 417 428 4-3-1 4-4 3-2-1 6-5-1
Chicago 8 8 0 .500 445 478 5-3 3-5 2-4 4-8
Detroit 7 9 0 .438 395 376 4-4 3-5 4-2 6-6
Minnesota 5 10 1 .344 391 480 5-3 0-7-1 2-3-1 4-7-1
 
South Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Carolina 12 4 0 .750 366 241 7-1 5-3 5-1 9-3
x-New Orleans 11 5 0 .688 414 304 8-0 3-5 5-1 9-3
Atlanta 4 12 0 .250 353 443 3-5 1-7 1-5 3-9
Tampa Bay 4 12 0 .250 288 389 3-5 1-7 1-5 2-10
 
West Division W L T Pct. PF PA Home Away Div Conf
y-Seattle 13 3 0 .813 417 231 7-1 6-2 4-2 10-2
x-San Francisco 12 4 0 .750 406 272 6-2 6-2 5-1 9-3
Arizona 10 6 0 .625 379 324 6-2 4-4 2-4 6-6
St. Louis 7 9 0 .438 348 364 5-3 2-6 1-5 4-8
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
11th
NOR 1
DUR 0
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
6th
CLE 2
TOR 4
 
5th
DET 1
ANA 1
 
5th
NYM 2
ATL 3
 
6th
MIA 1
SEA 2
 
4th
PIT 0
MIL 0
 
4th
WAS 0
STL 1
 
4th
TAM 0
NYY 1
 
2nd
KAN 0
MIN 2
 
1st
CHC 0
CIN 0
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
3rd
SAN 59
DAL 59
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
3rd
NYR 2
PHI 3
 
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
11th
NOR 1
DUR 0