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Falcons – Panthers (37-34): Carolina murdered by her kicker

Falcons – Panthers (37-34): Carolina murdered by her kicker

Atlanta Falcons (4-4) – Carolina Panthers (2-6): 37-34

You should have seen the disgusted face of DJ Moore (6 rec, 152 yards, 1 TD) on the bench when Younghoe Koo scored the winning field goal for the Falcons two minutes from the end of overtime. There was reason to be envious.

Minutes earlier, Moore had seen his team’s kicker Eddy Pineiro miss a 32-yard attempt that would have given Carolina the win. 32 yards. In a dome. A failure that ruined the efforts of the defense, which had just intercepted Marcus Mariota and had raised the ball far enough to put the kicker in a good position.

But if Moore had reason to be sad, it was above all because the referees and Pineiro united to take away a small miracle. 12 seconds from the end, while Carolina was trailing by four points, PJ Walker (19/36, 317 yards, 1 TD, 1 int) launched a missile into the end zone. Moore, who had distanced the defenders, picked up the ball for an incredible gain of 62 yards.

And here is the drama. The referees penalize a Moore who had the audacity to celebrate his performance by removing his helmet. 15 penalty yards are added to the extra point. Pineiro must then pass an extra point from 48 yards for the win. In a dome, it is doable. But he misses.

Marcus Mariota had made the difference

In a match focused on the ground game, the two teams went blow for blow. Atlanta got off to the best start, thanks to a Kyle Pitts (5 rec, 80 yards, 1 TD) finally exploited by his team. A returned interception for a touchdown then put the Falcons up 14-10 at the break. In the third quarter, Tyler Allegeier scored to widen the gap (21-13).

Everything is racing in the last quarter. Dont’a Foreman (26 races, 118 yards, 3 TDs) signs a double, then a hat-trick, and Carolina returns to the front (28-24). But three minutes from time, Marcus Mariota (20/28, 253 yards, 3 TDs, 2 int) finds some solutions, and sends Damiere Byrd for 47 yards and a touchdown (31-28). PJ Walker is then unable to answer him, and it is believed that the best quarterback made the difference. Especially since Atlanta adds a field goal (34-28) before returning the ball with 36 seconds to play.

This is where Moore made his miraculous reception, before seeing his teammate ruin everything. The Panthers gained more yards, they lost fewer balls… They deserved better. Except that American football is often cruel. And that nothing should be taken away from well-coached Falcons, who knew how to be realistic. Here they are at the top of the NFC South!

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