Similar to the way things played out in their first meeting of the year, the Carolina Panthers score on their first drive of the second half, cutting the Atlanta Falcons lead to 18, 21-3. The Panthers scoring drive was a six-play, 75-yard drive that saw two end arounds (one good, one bad), an intentional grounding penalty and a defensive holding penalty before finally ending with a 23-yard John Kasay field goal.
Going for the field goal while down 21 is a curious choice by the Panthers especially when you consider this is John Fox’s last game as head coach. I understand trying to build morale and you want to come away with something but it’s basically a white flag. You have given up on winning and just want to be able to say, at least I wasn’t shut out in my final game.
The Falcons winning is good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (currently tied 10-10 with the Saints) since the New Orleans Saints may not try as hard since they know they’ll be locked into the No. 5 seed. The Bucs need to win and hope the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants both lose for them to make the playoffs.