Falcons defense overwhelms Allen, Panthers 29-3

Sun Nov 17 4:22pm ET
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) scramles while Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) runs while Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) misses the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) reaches for a pass while Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a pass while Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) defgends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) tackles Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


The Carolina Panthers offense lines up against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) and wide receiver Christian Blake (13) celebrate Ollison's touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) falls into the end zone for a touchdoqn against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Kenjon Barner (38) runs the ball while Carolina Panthers linebacker Bruce Irvin (55) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera directs his team during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) intercepts a pass in the end zone during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) intercepts a pass in the end zone during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun (54) is blocked by Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) while running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) runs while Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) tackles during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) passes while Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) defends during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Atlanta Falcons running back Kenjon Barner (38) celebrates with running back Keith Smith (40) and running back Brian Hill (23) following Barner's touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Atlanta intercepted Kyle Allen four times and sacked him five times, Kenjon Barner returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown and the Falcons defeated the Carolina Panthers 29-3 Sunday for their second straight lopsided win against an NFC South foe.

The Falcons (3-7) had only two interceptions all season - and none since Week 2 against the Eagles - but intercepted Allen three times in the first half to build a 20-0 lead.

Matt Ryan improved to 7-1 in his past eight starts against the Panthers, throwing for 311 yards including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley.

Ridley found huge holes in the Carolina defense, finishing with eight catches for 143 yards and rookie Qadree Ollison added a 2-yard TD run for the Falcons, who won despite playing without running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Austin Hooper.

It was the second straight dominant defensive performance for the Falcons, who defeated the Saints 26-9 last Sunday.

Allen struggled all day for Carolina (5-5), continuing a disturbing trend.

The second-year quarterback has thrown eight interceptions in the past four games, after not throwing any in his first four career starts. He spent most of the game under heavy duress, while the Panthers offensive line racked up holding penalties in an unsuccessful effort to protect him.

The Falcons dominated in every phase of the game, including special teams.

Barner, who was drafted by the Panthers in 2013, gave Atlanta the boost it needed when he fielded Michael Palardy's punt and weaved his way up the field, picking up blockers along the way en route to an early 10-0 lead. It was the first punt return allowed by the Panthers since 2016.

Christian McCaffrey finished with 191 yards from scrimmage for the Panthers but failed to score for the first time since Week 2. He passed LaDainian Tomlinson (238) for the most receptions by a running back in his first three NFL seasons.

INJURIES

Falcons: Takk McKinley injured his shoulder on a first-half sack of Allen and did not return.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Host Buccaneers on Sunday.

Panthers: Visit Saints on Sunday.

Player Notes
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From TheHuddle

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Julian Edelman Dec 15 11:53am ET

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