Atlanta Falcons took down Carolina Panthers in Week 8 Thursday Night Football, 25-17. This is the second win for the new head coach Raheem Morris and an indication that the Falcons might rise after all the problems experienced during the early phase of this season.
“I hope it’s the start of something,” Matt Ryan said. “I really feel like, although we’re 2-6, I feel like we’ve been in some tight ones. We’ve played some good football. I think we can play some really tough football here in the second half of the season.”
Unlike most of the games this year, where Falcons lost massive leads, in this one, their defense stepped up to seal the game and stop the Panthers’ last attack. Teddy Bridgewater was moving the football down the field, but with 1:04 to go, Blidi Wreh-Wilson made an interception, bringing the win to the Falcons.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about, ending games with either sacks or interceptions, and the guys went out today and did exactly that,” Atlanta’s new head coach Raheem Morris told following the game.
His boys endured a hard and tough game but grinded out a victory in the end. The first half was close, and if it weren’t for Matt Ryan’s rushing TD to boost the guests’ morale and bring them to just one point, who knows how the game would develop.
Matty Ice didn’t have any touchdown passes but totaled 281 passing yards and added one rushing score. He also suffered two sacks and was intercepted once.
Todd Gurley scored the second TD for the Falcons, this one also on the ground. The former LA Rams running back had 46 rushing yards on 18 carries. The other RB, Brian Hill, added 55 yards on 11 runs.
Julio Jones was unstoppable, generating 137 receiving yards in 7 receptions, the longest 28. He was often moving the chains and delivering key plays in nasty situations. Hayden Hurst added 54 yards, and Calvin Ridley 42.
We need to mention Younghoue Koo, who went out to take a field goal four times and was on target always.
Teddy Bridgewater got hit pretty hard to the neck and head. Still down. pic.twitter.com/Cp52CvFFMY
— Will Manso (@WillManso) October 30, 2020
With the Panthers, Curtis Samuel scored both TDs. One was through the air and the second on the ground, and both were in the first half. DJ Moore had 55 yards through the air, Robby Anderson 48, while Mike Davis ran for 13 times, recording 66 yards.
Teddy Bridgewater had a pale game with, 176 yards, with one touchdown toss and one pick. Carolina’s QB had to leave the game for the moment due to a concussion protocol following one pretty bad hit from the Falcons DE Charles Harris.
“Yeah, I thought it was a cheap shot,” Mike Davis said. “It was late, hit him on the neck. You hate to see that.”
Teddy-B would come back pretty quickly, but this situation could have ended much worse.
His Panthers (3-5) are in a pretty problematic position now. They will visit the Kansas City Chiefs in the next match, and after that, host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These two teams are among the top favorites for winning the Super Bowl, and Matt Rhule’s side needs to avoid consecutive losses to stay in the playoff race.
As for the Falcons, (2-6), they will meet with the Denver Broncos at home, before heading down south to Louisiana, where they face the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees in another divisional matchup. In these two games, we’ll see if they can take another step forward and get out of the current crisis.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.