The Carolina Panthers came through in the clutch
Make no mistake, this is a game that the Carolina Panthers would have lost last season. But this current group is made of sterner stuff.
The Falcons moved the ball well during the second half as the Panthers looked like they might blow a 13-point lead at the half. Quarterback Matt Ryan had a goal to go when he threw right into the hands of safety Juston Burris, who atoned for his earlier error that might have resulted in a defensive touchdown following a Brian Burns strip.
Not only that, but Carolina also ate up most of the eight minutes remaining following the interception for an eventual field goal that iced the game and gave Atlanta little chance of making up the deficit.
This sort of composure and playmaking ability under pressure, together with a coaching staff that has grown in confidence in these types of situations through five weeks might still be a surprise, but it won’t be for much longer.
Getting results like this is the sign of any great team, and the Panthers are fast becoming just that.
What comes next against high-quality opposition such as the Chicago Bears and Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will be another steep learning curve for the group. But they have given themselves a strong platform from which to build.