CHARLOTTE — Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 30-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at the Bank of America Stadium.
GAME BALL: None awarded this week.
F — Quarterbacks: Matt Ryan’s numbers don’t look bad, but most of the action came after the offense contributed to digging the 23-0 hole by doing much of nothing on their first three possessions. He completed 34 of 49 passes for 342 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He had a passer rating of 94.1. The Falcons were 2 of 8 (25 percent) on third down conversions. That’s 3 of 19 (15.7 percent) over the last two games.
F — Running backs: Michael Turner had seven carries for 14 yards. Rodgers had 21 yards on four carries. After falling behind, the Falcons had to move away from the running game. Turner added a late rushing touchdown and has one in each of the last four games. He has eight rushing touchdowns this season.
F — Receivers: Roddy White had nine catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Julio Jones needs three more yards to eclipse 1,000 for the season. White’s 4-yard touchdown was his 50th career receiving touchdown. He is one of three wide receivers in team history to record 50 career touchdown receptions, joining WR Terance Mathis (57) and Andre Rison (56).
F — Offensive line: Ryan was sacked twice and hit six times.
F — Defensive line: Defensive tackle Corey Peters had one of the few pressures on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, but he got away. Vance Walker had the team’s only sack. There were three other hits on Newton. Walker’s sack was his third of the season which ranks tied for third on the team this season behind defensive end John Abraham (10.0) and defensive end/tackle Jonathan Babineaux (3.5).
F — Linebackers: The Panthers rushed for 195 yards on 32 carries. The Panthers rushed for 199 yards in the previous meeting. The Falcons need to figure out how to stop read-option quarterbacks. They could see Robert Griffin III again or San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick in the playoffs. Stephen Nicholas led the Falcons with nine tackles. Also, the problem against screens reared its ugly head on DeAnglo Williams’ 53-yard touchdown play. (See Carolina and Chicago games from 2011.)
F — Defensive backs: Steve Smith got loose for seven catches and 109 yards. Greg Olsen made a nice grab on his touchdown catch. Chris Hope made his first start as a Falcon and finished with two tackles.
F — Special teams: Why is the kicker out smack talking?
F — Coaching: Either the Falcons weren’t ready to play or they just got rolled.
NEXT UP: The Falcons (11-2) face the New York Football Giants (8-5) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
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