The Carolina Panthers were able to best the division-rival Atlanta Falcons 25-15 at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday night in a game where Carolina controlled the pace and dominated the time of possession battle (34:12 to 25:48).
The Falcons' (3-6) loss risks them falling behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) in the NFC South while the Panthers' (3-7) victory brings them a step closer to pulling themselves out of the NFL's doldrums.
Offensive spotlight: Panthers WR Laviska Shenault put together a standout performance in Carolina's upset victory, finishing with three receptions for 17 yards in addition to two carries for 42 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, Shenault forced two missed tackles on the evening, and his 41-yard touchdown run turned out to be the difference in the game.
LAVISKA SHENAULT TO THE ???? pic.twitter.com/8YyEcccE6A
— PFF (@PFF) November 11, 2022
Additionally, Panthers RB D’Onta Foreman wore out the Falcons defense all game long, recording 130 rushing yards and a touchdown from 31 carries. In the process, Foreman picked up seven first downs, forced five missed tackles, accumulated four explosive (10-plus yards) runs and averaged 3.2 yards after contact per attempt.
Defensive spotlight: Panthers LB Shaq Thompson was excellent on Thursday, posting an impressive 90.0-plus overall grade on initial review. Thomas made more than his fair share of plays against the run for the Panthers defense, posting four run stops and a tackle for loss or no gain across 22 run-defense snaps. Additionally, Thompson impressed in coverage, allowing three receptions from five targets into his coverage for a measly three receiving yards in addition to accumulating two coverage stops.
Even in a losing effort, Falcons safety Richie Grant also performed at a high level, especially in coverage. On four targets, Grant allowed just one reception for two yards and forced three incompletions in addition to generating two coverage stops en route to 90.0-plus coverage grade on initial review.
Rookie spotlight: Falcons rookie receiver Drake London performed admirably in the team's disappointing loss, securing five receptions from seven targets for 38 receiving yards and a touchdown. Impressively, he caught all three of his contested-catch opportunities.
Offensive line spotlight: Granted, the Panthers offensive line was exposed much in pass protection, finishing with only 19 pass-blocking snaps, but the unit performed well given its task, allowing just total pressures and a sack on PFF's initial review. Guards Brady Christensen and Austin Corbett paced the unit, as neither allowed a pressure en route to 80.0-plus pass-blocking grades on first review.
|Marcus Mariota||18.74||19 / 30||186||6.2||2||1|
|PJ Walker||5.72||10 /16||108||6.8||0||0|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||14.9||2||42||21||1||41|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||14.9||4||3||17||5.7||0|
|Terrace Marshall Jr.||5.3||2||1||43||43||0|