The Carolina Panthers rewarded fans who braved the rain to watch their game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday with a 25-15 win at Bank of America Stadium.
This is sweet revenge for the Panthers. Ten days earlier, they had lost in overtime to these same Falcons, by the score of 37 to 34.
In the duel of the day, head coach Steven Wilks surprised no one by prioritizing the ground game, and it paid off. Behind the hosts’ center, PJ Walker attempted just 16 stints in the win. The one who was in his second consecutive game as a starting quarterback for the first time in his career completed 10 passes for a thin harvest of 108 yards.
Rather, it was the Panthers running backs who generated the offense. Laviska Shenault Jr. had the game of the game, in the second quarter, by completing a 41-yard run in the Falcons’ end zone.
His colleague D’Onta Foreman was particularly busy and he also scored a major. The former Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans rushed for 130 yards on 31 carries. The other 12 points for the winners came from the toe of Eddy Pineiro, who was perfect in four field goal attempts.
In the loss, Marcus Mariota hit the target for 19 of his 30 stints, amassing 186 yards by air. He was the victim of a larceny, but registered two touchdown passes. Drake London and KhaDarel Hodge were the beneficiaries.
By virtue of this second consecutive loss, the Falcons (4-6) fell to second place in the Central section of the National, not far ahead of the Panthers (3-7).