5 big winners from the Carolina Panthers win vs. Falcons in Week 15

It was a hard-fought victory for the Carolina Panthers...

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Who were the big winners from the Carolina Panthers' last-gasp win against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15 at Bank of America Stadium?

On a rain-soaked afternoon at Bank of America Stadium, the Carolina Panthers provided hope. They left it late and had to work hard, but another game-winning drive from rookie quarterback Bryce Young was enough to run out the clock and allow kicker Eddy Pineiro to send a chip shot through the upright for a second win of the campaign.

To say this boosted morale would be an understatement. The locker room was vibrant after the win. There was joy across the large majority of fans. Some still found a way to complain, but they're the ones institutionalized by misery after so much disappointment since team owner David Tepper took charge.

Whether this is the start of a strong end to the campaign is anyone's guess. For now, it's nice to focus on some positive elements for once.

With this in mind, here are five big winners from Carolina's win versus the Falcons in Week 15.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette - Carolina Panthers WR

After being utilized primarily in the return game since his trade to the Carolina Panthers, we finally got the chance to see what Ihmir Smith-Marsette could do with increased responsibilities. It was hard not to come away impressed by his performance - albeit in torrid weather conditions.

Smith-Marsette was elusive in carrying the football. He made things happen and was schemed up well more often than not. A 7.8 yards per carry average is a testament to how he seized the moment when opportunities arose.

Hopefully, this can lead to more chances where Smith-Marsette is concerned. He's got that injection of speed the Panthers have sorely lacked. If he continues this trend, an extended stay under the new coaching regime cannot be dismissed.