The Panthers were sleepwalking through much of the first half of a game they have to win, and the Falcons were making them pay.
But as they’ve done so often this year, they came up with a drive as the clock wound down.
The Panthers took a 14-10 halftime lead on Ted Ginn’s touchdown grab, which capped a 13-play, 96-yard drive just before the break.
The Falcons dominated the early going, controlling the Panthers with their own defense.
They picked Cam Newton off once, and forced a DeAngelo Williams fumble at the end of a 59-yard catch-and-run.
But Panthers rookie cornerback Melvin White intercepted Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a touchdown, setting up Cam Newton’s latest clutch drive. He’s shown a knack for such pressure situations this year, at the ends of halves and games.
That’s why the Panthers are playing for a bye week.