Short takes: Newton and Panthers’ line dominate Falcons

Cam Newton blasts off for a 72-yard touchdown run, giving Panthers a 23-0 lead. (AP photo)

Cam Newton blasts off for a 72-yard touchdown run, giving Panthers a 23-0 lead. (AP photo)

I’ll be back shortly with my column off of the Falcons’ game against Carolina today. Until then here are my three short takes on the game.

1. Defensive front dominated: The Falcons saw Carolina score on its first five possessions of the game (taking a 23-0 lead) and were just fortunate that the Panthers converted only two of those drives into touchdowns. Cam Newton was efficient and the Panthers ran the ball effectively. But the biggest reason for the early success was that the Falcons’ defensive front got dominated by Carolina’s offensive line. It didn’t help that defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux left in the second quarter with what was announced as a ribs injury. But it wasn’t all about Babineaux. This game belonged to the Panthers’ line, as well as … (see No. 2).

2. Cam Newton shows his upside: For all the criticism from “anonymous players” and “unnamed sources” about his maturity issues, Newton’s physical talents were on full display. He completed his first eight pass attempts. He threw for 178 yards in the first half on 17-of-25 passing. He had a 21-yard scramble in which he spun the Falcons’ Corey Peters in a 360 and a 72-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It’s like he was back at Auburn again. For the game, Newton finished with 235 yards passing and two touchdowns and he rushed for another 118 yards and a touchdown. So that should quiet everybody for a while.

3. No running game… again: It’s not the only reason they lost the game. But the Falcons again failed to establish a running game, which is an increasingly bad sign in the first week of December. Jacquizz Rodgers (4 for 21) and Michael Turner (7 for 14) combined for only 35 yards rushing. When that happens, it allows opposing defensive linemen to ignore defending the run and enables them to tee off on the quarterback. Matt was sacked only twice but often pressured.

By Jeff Schultz

219 comments Add your comment

CHOKE - the official soft drink of the SB ringless FAILCANTS

December 9th, 2012
4:06 pm

First- FAILCANTS are SB ringless..playoff failures….frauds…exposed today..lmao….such a joke….fans are such delusional zealots o think this junk team had a chance….lmao…

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:06 pm

It won’t be long before all the rats come on this blog like the last one. All the rats that will starting jumping off the bus and being negative because of 1 game.

falconsrus

December 9th, 2012
4:07 pm

falconsrus

December 9th, 2012
4:04 pm
Now we see how resilient this team is next week.

Slow start this week team loss.

Any injuries today?

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:07 pm

CHOKE – the official soft drink of the SB ringless FAILCANTS
December 9th, 2012
4:06 pm

First- FAILCANTS are SB ringless..playoff failures….frauds…exposed today..lmao….such a joke….fans are such delusional zealots o think this junk team had a chance….lmao…

____________________________________________________________

You’re not a Falcons fan so what do you care? Go somewhere else you trolling piece of crap

11-2!!!!!!!!!

December 9th, 2012
4:08 pm

It is hard to establish a running game when you trail by so much so fast.

DawgPrint

December 9th, 2012
4:09 pm

Butt ugly loss!

5150 UOAD

December 9th, 2012
4:09 pm

AmpK……………..screw your Giving Him Credit………….Pay your MONEY and Go to the GAME and CHEER for him to WIN one instead of crying like a UGa Mutt fan every time their team missed a play.

kevkat

December 9th, 2012
4:09 pm

They are “resilent” though..ask Smitty.

Jason

December 9th, 2012
4:11 pm

I don’t know what to think. I think we’re a good team, but no where near great. Teams have these kind of games but not week to week. It was a bad game, no doubt but we’re still sitting pretty. Every other team in the NFC has at least 3 losses. 49ers have 3 with 1 tie, the Packers have 4, the Bears have 4, the Giants have 5…we’re okay record wise but our team needs to get tougher.

Hillbilly D

December 9th, 2012
4:11 pm

I’ve said this before (probably too many times) but line play is what wins football games.

just plain stupid

December 9th, 2012
4:12 pm

this loss hurts…you could have a first round bye..if you had played like you wanted to win…

TCCB

December 9th, 2012
4:13 pm

@11-2!!!!!!!!!! This is your so called championship team so what is your point?

Greg Hardy-Panthers DE

December 9th, 2012
4:13 pm

Falcons: I said that we would get payback today. I said we would prove who was best. The Falcons are who we thought they were. Now get your sorry butts out of Charlotte and crawl back to Atlanta.

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:13 pm

DawgPrint
December 9th, 2012
4:09 pm

Butt ugly loss!

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Wasn’t that bad. Got off to a slow start in the first half but they only allowed 16 points. The defense was hurt in the first half by not having their best cover corner and their best safety playing today. The 2nd half was 20-14 Falcons. They finished pretty good being down on the road early.

JSS

December 9th, 2012
4:14 pm

@ Hillbilly D…
Wasting good knowledge…

falconsrus

December 9th, 2012
4:14 pm

Definition of RESILIENT: characterized or marked by resilience: as . a: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture. b: tending to recover …

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:16 pm

5150 UOAD, why are you always bringing UGA stuff up in a Falcons blog? You’re just one of those pathetic Tech fans that is totally obsessed with UGA and can’t stop your UGA envy for nothing. A Tech fan has no business even mentioning anything UGA until your loser team mans up and beats them.

11-2!!!!!!!!!

December 9th, 2012
4:16 pm

@TCCB My point was clear. I made a statement (opinion) about the article that I read. Did you read it?

Jason

December 9th, 2012
4:17 pm

This game was a wake up call. See what we’re doing wrong and fix it.

Snake Doc

December 9th, 2012
4:17 pm

To see Ryan flourish.

1. Build a Great “D”. That starts with the D-line. Only D-Lineman worth keeping is the Bierman.
2. Upgrade O-Line
3. Realize that you are not a POWER running team. This team is built more like the Colts of Manning and the Patriots of Brady.
Pass to set up run.

Until then. We are all just a whistling Dixie.

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:17 pm

Greg Hardy-Panthers DE
December 9th, 2012
4:13 pm

Falcons: I said that we would get payback today. I said we would prove who was best. The Falcons are who we thought they were. Now get your sorry butts out of Charlotte and crawl back to Atlanta.

_______________________________________________________________

Greg Hardy will be sitting at home watching football in January

elephanthead

December 9th, 2012
4:18 pm

This is what happens when you mortgage away 2 drafts. You go for the shiny hood ornament rather than working on the body and engine. Falcons are weak from tackle to tackle on both side of the line. The bottom line is Dimitroff’s draft decisions and player evaluation are sub-par at best. When you draft 6th and 7th rounders and expect them to go up against guys like Charles Johnson, JJ Watt, Peppers, etc, your QB is is a dead man.

Answer This

December 9th, 2012
4:18 pm

We are ok Nation….It is evident that we are not a running team however our head coach must see that and stop the loyalty and be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Turner did not desevre those 7 touches today, if Quizz was 4 for 21 that is 5 yards a carry! Matt stip the back foot throw, and sometimes you have to put your foot in the ground and take the three yards on the QB scramble! Loyalty will not put these trolls on the blog out of their misery, but being who we are…a passing team will! Stop it coach! Stop coaching by the book and coach with a steel pair! We are the Mighty Falcons and we still Rise Up!

Iluvnutella

December 9th, 2012
4:19 pm

Mike (Booby Cox of the NFL) Smith didnt have his team ready. team is paying for the ineptitude in the draft since Dimitroffs arrival. Sad state when all we are hoping for is one playoff win. the national media knows it, us fans have drank too much kool-aide. We have a good reciver but NO O or D line because of him.

Hillbilly D

December 9th, 2012
4:19 pm

JSS

I only watched the first half but it was pretty obvious who was controlling the game, on both sides of the ball. It could just have easily been 28-0 at the half.

Cam Newton showed a lot of what he can be. His upside is pretty high, in my opinion.

Jason

December 9th, 2012
4:20 pm

Excuse me, the Bears have 5 losses. They lost to the Vikings today. Packers have 4 losses. And the Giants also have 5 losses. Even though those teams have 4-5 losses they are scary. the Falcons are not.

Snake Doc

December 9th, 2012
4:20 pm

Falcons currently 3-2 against division. SB teams dominate their division. FalCants better do better then .500.

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:20 pm

elephanthead
December 9th, 2012
4:18 pm

This is what happens when you mortgage away 2 drafts. You go for the shiny hood ornament rather than working on the body and engine. Falcons are weak from tackle to tackle on both side of the line. The bottom line is Dimitroff’s draft decisions and player evaluation are sub-par at best. When you draft 6th and 7th rounders and expect them to go up against guys like Charles Johnson, JJ Watt, Peppers, etc, your QB is is a dead man.

_______________________________________________________________________

I think we are 11-1 aren’t we? I mean the last time I checked the records we were 11-1 and have already won the NFC South. Am I wrong? Did I miss something somewhere?

old school

December 9th, 2012
4:20 pm

We’re in trouble!

just plain stupid

December 9th, 2012
4:21 pm

@Jason…that seems to always be the response. The Falcons have seen this before & MS still hasn’t fixed it.

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Snake Doc
December 9th, 2012
4:20 pm

Falcons currently 3-2 against division. SB teams dominate their division. FalCants better do better then .500.

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I don’t thing the Packers dominated their division in 2010. Matter of fact I believe they barely won their last game against the Bears by 2 points to even make the playoffs that year and they won the SB.

Sjamesjobsearch

December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Lets face it, that game was a slow motion walkthrough of what you might do with a Scrimage.m Falcons didn’t shownupmto win, they showed up upmtomgo through some motions to make next week easierpir. Falcons weren’t there to play, they were there to play a game, they were there to with their food and learn a few things . Not a losses, just not a win.

Georgia Dome has roaches

December 9th, 2012
4:24 pm

Well one good thing that came out of this, is that we won’t have to read Esquire’s stupid Falcon song lyrics…

Snake Doc

December 9th, 2012
4:24 pm

Lets just wait and see what happens next week. Got the Giants coming here. If the Falcons struggle you’ll have the answers to all you questions. Don’t care if they win somehow, if they struggle, you’ll know what the real deal is.

just plain stupid

December 9th, 2012
4:26 pm

5150 UOAD

December 9th, 2012
4:26 pm

kerryb………..because MANY of the people on here that ARE Falcon fans jump on and off the bandwagon just like UGa fans do on their Live Game blogs. Every bad play both teams have fans calling for the coaches/players heads.

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:26 pm

Sjamesjobsearch
December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Lets face it, that game was a slow motion walkthrough of what you might do with a Scrimage.m Falcons didn’t shownupmto win, they showed up upmtomgo through some motions to make next week easierpir. Falcons weren’t there to play, they were there to play a game, they were there to with their food and learn a few things . Not a losses, just not a win.

_________________________________________________________________________

You’re right. They held 2 of their best players out on defense to get them healthy for the playoffs. They know they are going to get a first round bye

gg

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

i think it may have done the falcons some good to lose this game. They needed to see that they cannot continue to get behind and come back and win, this has became habitual for these falcons and this trend needs to stop. i do believe the falcons are a very good team, but it’s time they show it!!!!

bgtodd01

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

The intensity wasn’t there for ATL. This was a ho hum game for them. Didn’t really mean too much. Plus, they needed to hold out Moore and Samuel from the defensive backfield. That was huge. But, I’d much rather have them be healthy. Birds will be fine.

Georgia Dome has roaches

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

The mighty Falcons got spanked by a 3-9 team?

JSS

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

@ Hillbilly…
Observant as usual, and that is a makeshift O-line in Carolina… Regardless, a team that got a screwed up secondary and O-Line (Carolina) has no business imposing their will on a playoff ready team… But, the spin meister(s) are out, so you know how that will go…

As far as for Newton, the kid has Warren Moon in his ear, he has no reason not to take sage advice if he wants to improve and more importantly lead…

kerryb

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

5150 UOAD
December 9th, 2012
4:26 pm

kerryb………..because MANY of the people on here that ARE Falcon fans jump on and off the bandwagon just like UGa fans do on their Live Game blogs. Every bad play both teams have fans calling for the coaches/players heads.

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I think a lot of the ones you see on here doing that are not really Falcons fans but imposters and I don’t care what they think.

5150 UOAD

December 9th, 2012
4:28 pm

kerryb…………same for the NY Giants. They didn’t dominate their division either.

elephanthead

December 9th, 2012
4:28 pm

Kerryb
Yes, we are 11-2 and I’m glad. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan since 66. But I have to point out what should be obvious here. The record is great, but do you see these guys going up against quality opponents in the playoffs and preforming like that? It’s too depressing…

around town

December 9th, 2012
4:29 pm

I guess it is hard for professional teams to “get up” for every football game, especially when the division has been won and they are up against one of the league’s weaker team. Still, Falcon fans need to be concerned about the team’s prospects going forward after this terrible performance. It really lends credence to the argument that the record is a smoke-and-mirrors job. Next week against NY should tell us more.

5150 UOAD

December 9th, 2012
4:30 pm

I have seen many SB winners lose the last weeks of the season to get on the Hot Streak going into the playoffs and go on to the SB and even win it. Falcons losing today is not the end of the world.

Snake Doc

December 9th, 2012
4:30 pm

This team took off longer then the mini-by week. If I was Smith this team would never get any more time off this season. Even if they get Home Field adv. thru the playoffs I would work this team until they dragged. Obviously thats the only thing these guys understand.

Give them a break and they think they can just show up. Doesn’t work like that in the NFL.

Time to work their a$$$es unti lthey droop.

5150 UOAD

December 9th, 2012
4:31 pm

The So RESPECTED SF 49ers and getting picked apart on D and getting shutdown on O.

D-bo

December 9th, 2012
4:31 pm

Hold on a second, playing without Asante Samuel and William Moore who is huge in the run game and delivers massive hits. Not a convincing win by the panthers. Falcons clearly resting some starters.

MJM

December 9th, 2012
4:31 pm

The Carolina Hot Dogs won a game. Wow!!