Falcons beat Panthers in crazy overtime battle, secure first place in NFC South

NFL: OCT 30 Panthers at Falcons
Getty Images

The Falcons are all alone in first place in the NFC South.

With a hard-fought 37-34 overtime win over the Panthers today, the Falcons are now 4-4 and in first place in the division, a game ahead of the Buccaneers and Saints, and two games ahead of the Panthers.

The win didn’t come easily: Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks has his team playing hard, and deserves credit for continuing to compete after the season appeared to be over following the firing of Matt Rhule. The Panthers were in this game until the end.

The late fourth quarter featured a sensational 47-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Damiere Byrd that gave the Falcons the lead, followed by an equally sensational 62-yard touchdown pass from P.J. Walker to DJ Moore that should have given the Panthers the lead back — except that Moore was penalized 15 yards for taking his helmet off, and Panthers kicker Eddy Pineiro missed the subsequent extra point, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, Mariota threw an interception that CJ Henderson returned 54 yards to set up a game-winning field goal attempt, but Pineiro missed that as well. On the ensuing drive, a 30-yard Mariota run got the Falcons into field goal range, and they hit the game winner.

Will the Falcons stay on top in the NFC South? The smart money is probably on the Buccaneers to rally during the second half of the season and win the division. But the Falcons aren’t going to go away quietly. In a weak division, they’re real playoff contenders.

22 responses to “Falcons beat Panthers in crazy overtime battle, secure first place in NFC South

  1. In defense of DJ Moore, if he didn’t pull his helmet off, how would anyone know it was him?

  2. DJ Moore smiling on sideline after his bonehead penalty that cost them the extra point and the game. Who says there’s no “i” in team? In this case it stands for idiot.

  3. DJ Reed should be fined for his look at me moment that cost Carolina the game. Act like u have scored before.

  4. I hope DJ Moore is really happy with his stupi penalty after what should have been the game winner for the Panthers! Judging from his attitude on the sideline, he doesn’t seem like he’ll learn anything. Great catch completely nullified by his own stupidity!

  5. Nothing like making a potentially game-changing penalty call because we saw the guy’s face.

  6. D J Moore, hero to loser in about 5 seconds!
    Removing your helmet, Automatic penalty! Maybe the Falcons should give him a game ball!

  7. I guess they leave double doionk right there in ATL tonight? Sad to see him miss that kick not really the only reason they lost but they didnt win becuase he missed in OT.

  8. Falcons essentially make a gift of the game twice, yet the Panthers still manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This division has an outside chance to have a “champion” with ten losses. The four teams’ record against the rest of the league: 6-14.

  9. Amazing to me these guys do this for a living but insist on getting selfish penalties like Moore did. He was the hero for five minutes but couldn’t help himself. Look at me!!!

  10. I know I’m old but can’t these guys run off the field and celebrate on the sidelines?

  11. love tht the dirtybirds won, but removing one’s helmet shouldn’t automatically be a penalty & does differ from unsportsmanship

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.