The Series: With the 31-10 victory, the Falcons defeated the Panthers for the fourth time in the last six meetings and lead the all-time series 19-12. Carolina and Atlanta will play again this season at the Georgia Dome on Jan. 2.
Streaking: The loss extended the Panthers' losing streak to seven games, matching the third longest losing streak in team history - previously achieved in 1998. Carolina ended the 2001 campaign with 15 consecutive losses and dropped eight games in a row during the 2002 season.
For Starters: Mackenzy Bernadeau started for the fourth consecutive game at left guard for Travelle Wharton, who was inactive with a toe injury. Dante Rosario started for the fifth time this season as the Panthers began in a two tight end set. Defensively, rookie cornerback Robert McClain made his first NFL start and rookie safety Jordan Pugh made his second career as Carolina opened in a dime defense.
What A Rush: Behind an offensive line featuring Jordan Gross at left tackle, Mackenzy Bernadeau at left guard, Ryan Kalil at center, Geoff Schwartz at right guard and Garry Williams at right tackle, the Panthers amassed a season-high 212 yards rushing, including 174 in the second half, on 28 attempts - an average of 7.6 yards per carry.
The front five has helped Carolina total more than 100 yards rushing in six consecutive games, also exceeding 100 yards with 127 versus New Orleans (11/7/10), 118 at Tampa Bay (11/14/10), 120 versus Baltimore (11/21/10), 151 at Cleveland (11/28/10) and 131 at Seattle (12/5/10).
The 212-yard effort marked the 13th time in team history and 11th occasion under head coach John Fox that the Panthers accumulated 200 yards rushing in a game. However, it was only the second time that they lost when gaining 200 yards on the ground, also losing versus San Francisco (12/6/98).
Stewart Rushes Up The Charts: Running back Jonathan Stewart rushed for a season-high and team-leading 133 yards on 18 carries to move into second place in team history with eight career 100-yard rushing games. He surpassed the seven 100-yard rushing efforts by Tshimanga Biakabutuka from 1996-2001, Stephen Davis from 2003-05 and DeShaun Foster from 2002-07.
Stewart produced a season-long 48-yard run in the third quarter to set up Carolina's only touchdown of the game two plays later. His scamper represented the team's longest run this year, surpassing Mike Goodson's 45-yard burst versus Baltimore (11/21/10). Stewart leads the Panthers with 531 yards on 120 attempts with two touchdowns this season.
Goodson Triple Threat: Running back Mike Goodson gained 70 yards rushing on nine carries with one touchdown, 6 yards receiving on one reception and 87 yards on five kickoff returns to finish the game with 163 combined net yards. He ranks second on the Panthers with 414 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 87 attempts this season, stands second with 34 catches for 271 yards and leads the team with a 22.4-yard kickoff return average on 38 returns.
Goodson scored on a 13-yard run in the third quarter to equal the second-most consecutive games rushing for a touchdown in team history with three - previously accomplished 10 times, most recently by Jonathan Stewart in 2009. DeAngelo Williams holds the team record with eight.
Paws For Clausen: Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen completed 14-of-24 passes for 107 yards and no touchdowns with one interception to produce a 51.9 quarterback rating. In 10 games with seven starts this season, Clausen has completed 115-of-224 passes for 1,163 yards and one touchdown with seven interceptions.
On The Receiving End: Rookie wide receiver Brandon LaFell paced Carolina with six receptions for 38 yards. The six catches tied his season high, previously accomplished versus San Francisco (10/24/10). LaFell is third on the Panthers with 31 receptions for 372 yards and one touchdown this year.
In The Zone: Carolina posted a 67 percent efficiency rating in the red zone, scoring one touchdown and one field goal on three trips inside Atlanta's 20-yard line. The Panthers advanced the ball to the Falcons' 5-yard line on their final possession of the game but did not score before time expired. Carolina has been successful on 15-of-26 red zone opportunities, scoring eight touchdowns and seven field goals for a 57.7 percent conversion rate and 30.8 percent touchdown conversion rate, this season.
Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina forced one turnover on an interception. On the last play of the first half, cornerback Richard Marshall picked off his third pass of the season and returned it 25 yards. It marked his third consecutive game with a theft against the Falcons. Marshall is tied for fourth in team history with 14 interceptions and ranks second with 315 interception return yards.
The Panthers turned it over twice on one fumble and one interception to finish with a minus-one turnover ratio. The one takeaway resulted in no points for Carolina, and the two giveaways led to 14 points for Atlanta. The Panthers have a negative-eight turnover ratio this season, compiling an 0-6 record when having a positive turnover margin, an 0-1 record when being even in turnover margin, and a 1-5 record when having a negative turnover margin.
Sakrete Sacks: The Panthers equaled their season high of three sacks against the Falcons, who entered the game ranked fourth in the NFL in sacks per pass play allowed. It marked the third time in the last four games that Carolina has collected three sacks.
Defensive end Charles Johnson recorded a sack for the fourth consecutive game when he took down Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan for an 8-yard loss on the first play of the second quarter. Johnson has logged five sacks in the last four games and leads the team with a career-high 8.5 sacks this season. The last player to register sacks in four consecutive games was Julius Peppers in 2009.
In the fourth quarter, defensive end Everette Brown sacked Ryan for a 7-yard loss. On the next play, Brown and defensive tackle Nick Hayden combined to drop Ryan for a 12-yard loss.
During the 2010 season, Sakrete, a leader in concrete and concrete-related products, is donating $100 to the BVC Playground Build for every sack Carolina records. Through 13 games, the Panthers have gathered 24 sacks, raising $2,400.
The Specialists: Kicker John Kasay connected on his only field goal attempt - converting from 36 yards - and his only extra point chance. He has been successful on 19-of-23 field goal attempts and perfect on all 15 of his extra point opportunities for a team-leading 72 points this season.
Punter Jason Baker generated a gross average of 45.4 yards and net average of 44.7 yards with one inside the 20, no touchbacks and long of 56 yards on seven punts. His gross average improved to 43.9 yards and his net average increased to 37.5 yards with 18 punts inside the 20, five touchbacks and long of 57 yards this season.
Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd placed all three of his kickoffs in the end zone with two touchbacks, helping limit the Falcons to an average kickoff drive start of their own 20-yard line. Lloyd has reached the end zone on 34-of-44 kickoffs with 11 touchbacks this season.
Inactives: The following eight players were inactive for the Panthers: wide receiver David Clowney, cornerback Chris Gamble, linebacker Nic Harris, defensive tackle Ed Johnson, center Chris Morris, quarterback Keith Null (third quarterback), guard Travelle Wharton and linebacker Jason Williams.
Claw Marks: Rookie wide receiver Armanti Edwards played in his second game this season, taking a snap out of the Mountaineer formation in the first quarter. He completed a pass for no yards to wide receiver David Gettis...Edwards became the fifth player to attempt a pass for the Panthers this year, joining quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen, Matt Moore, Tony Pike and Brian St. Pierre. The five passers matches the most in a season by Carolina, previously accomplished in 1995 when Kerry Collins, Eric Guliford, Frank Reich, Jack Trudeau and Vince Workman all threw passes.
Toys For Tots: Thank you to fans who contributed to the Panthers' holiday toy collection to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys For Tots program. More than 2,500 toys and $3,000 were collected that will be used to help bring holiday joy to underprivileged children in the Carolinas.
Bird Seed: Atlanta generated an 18-play drive in the second quarter that consumed eight minutes and 48 seconds and resulted in a 39-yard Matt Bryant field goal. The 18 plays matched the fourth most ever allowed on a drive by the Panthers, previously achieved by New Orleans (10/3/10)...Falcons running back Michael Turner rushed for 100 yards for the fourth consecutive time against the Panthers, posting 112 yards and scoring three touchdowns on 28 attempts...Turner's 18 points and three touchdowns equaled the second-most points and touchdowns in a game by a Panthers' opponent, previously accomplished five times - most recently by Marshawn Lynch for Seattle (12/5/10). His three rushing touchdowns also matched the second-most rushing touchdowns in a game by an opponent, previously achieved three times - most recently by Lynch for Seattle (12/5/10). Turner (11/23/08) holds the records for the most points by an opponent with 24 and most touchdowns and rushing touchdowns by an opponent with four.