Falcons hang on to late lead to beat Panthers

Falcons hang on to late lead to beat Panthers

This time the Atlanta Falcons held on in the fourth quarter. Though it wasn’t without some drama.

The Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers 25-17 Thursday night after taking an eight-point lead and sealing the victory with an interception by cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson at the Atlanta 9-yard line with less than a minute to play.

It was just the second time in five games this season that the Falcons won a game in which they entered the fourth quarter with a lead. They had been 1-3 in that situation entering Thursday night’s game, including last week’s loss to Detroit on the game’s final play.

The victory over the Panthers was a much-needed boost for a Falcons team that desperately needed something good to happen. It sets the table for a potential run over the next several weeks. They have a winnable game against Denver (2-4) next week and after their bye play New Orleans (4-2) twice in a three-week span, giving them a chance to try and make up some ground in the NFC South.

It’s certainly not out of the question: The Falcons followed a 1-7 start last season with a 6-1 finish that included victories in the final four games.

Thursday’s victory may be able to help purge the memories of the fourth-quarter failures from earlier in the season and especially last week’s loss to Detroit. The Falcons led the Lions 14-13 in the fourth quarter but Todd Gurley’s touchdown run left the Lions with too much time and Matthew Stafford’s TD pass to T.J. Hockenson gave the Lions a 23-22 victory. That was just the latest painful fourth-quarter flop. The Falcons blew a five-point lead in Week 2 in a 40-39 loss to Dallas and a 16-point lead in Week 3 to Chicago.

Until the victory over the Panthers, the Falcons’ only hold on a fourth-quarter lead was two weeks ago against Minnesota.

Published at Fri, 30 Oct 2020 04:57:03 +0000

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