Instant analysis of Falcons' 20-17 Week 9 loss to the Panthers

Falcons vs. Panthers Final injury reports for Week 9

The Falcons had a chance to get at least within field goal range in the game's waning moments, but with the ball and 2:18 left, the Panthers defense held Ryan to just 1-of-4 passing for negative three yards on their final drive and Newton and Co. were able to eat enough time off the clock for the win.

Atlanta narrowly escaped the New York Jets in Week 8 with a 25-20 victory, keeping the Falcons within a game back of Carolina for second place in the NFC South.

Edge rushers Mario Addison and Wes Horton each had a sack, and the rest of the front seven did an excellent job in limiting the Falcons to just 53 rushing yards. The quarterback ran for 86 yards on nine carries and even rattled off a 34-yard gain in the first quarter.

Carolina has not lost consecutive home games against the Falcons since the 2010-11 season. Meanwhile, Atlanta went into a funk, no play perhaps more telling than all-pro receiver Julio Jones dropping a wide open touchdown pass on a fourth down play in the fourth quarter.

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Though the Falcons would tack on a Tevin Coleman touchdown late to make things interesting, Atlanta lacked execution in the passing game all day.

Despite a lackluster offense, the Panthers have legitimate playoff hopes thanks to their top-10 defense. The touchdown stood, giving Carolina a momentum-shifting lead as the teams headed into halftime. That Newton led the team in rushing for a fourth straight game is concerning, though. Newton didn't look comfortable for most of the day, yet still made plays when they were there. Elliott's role in this game could be huge as he faces a Kanas City defense that is allowing 131 yards per game. This was a game that Atlanta could have definitely won, but the Panthers with more poise than the Falcons.

Instead, Adams beautifully undercut a throw to the tight end and then showed some good speed to run the ball all the way back to the Atlanta 31, setting up a go-ahead touchdown.

Unfortunately, Mike Adams would leave the game with an injury in the fourth quarter, but before his replacement Jairus Byrd came in, Adams was absolutely balling. Carolina backup TE Chris Manhertz was placed in the concussion protocol in the first half. The Philadelphia Eagles' offense will now feature running back Jay Ajayi as they host the Denver Broncos, as Ajayi was traded by the Miami Dolphins earlier this week.

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