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Panthers-Falcons Postgame Notes


The Series: With the 28-20 victory, Atlanta won for the third time in the last four games against Carolina and leads the all-time series 18-11. The Panthers and Falcons will meet again at Bank of America Stadium on Nov. 15.

For Starters: Louis Leonard started at defensive tackle for Nick Hayden, who was out with a toe injury. It marked Leonard's first start with Carolina since being acquired in a trade from Cleveland during the preseason. Quinton Teal made his second consecutive start at strong safety in place of Chris Harris, who did not play because of a knee injury.

Inactives: The following eight players were inactive for the Panthers: quarterback A.J. Feeley (third quarterback), safety Chris Harris, defensive tackle Nick Hayden, guard Duke Robinson, running back Tyrell Sutton, defensive end Hilee Taylor, tackle Garry Williams and cornerback C.J. Wilson.

Delhomme Boy: Quarterback Jake Delhomme completed 25-of-41 passes for 308 yards and one touchdown with one interception to produce an 82.2 quarterback rating. He tossed his first touchdown of the season on an 11-yard completion to tight end Dante Rosario in the fourth quarter. The effort represented Delhomme's 10th career 300-yard passing game and first since throwing for 316 yards versus Houston (9/16/07). He has completed 32-of-58 passes for 381 yards and one touchdown with five interceptions this season.

Smitty and Moose: Wide receiver Steve Smith tallied 131 yards on eight catches to compile his 31st career 100-yard receiving performance and sixth consecutive game with 100 yards versus an NFC South opponent. He has generated 784 yards and two touchdowns on 42 receptions in his last six divisional match-ups. Smith leads the Panthers with 11 catches for 152 yards this season. Wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad finished second on the team with four catches for 47 yards and has posted eight receptions for 88 yards this season.

Double Trouble: Running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined to rush for 144 yards and one touchdown on 25 attempts. Williams led the way with 79 yards and one touchdown - scoring on a three-yard run in the second quarter - on 16 carries. He caught three passes out of the backfield for 32 yards to give him 111 combined yards. Williams leads the Panthers with 116 yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts this season. Stewart gained 65 yards on nine carries and has totaled 100 yards on 20 attempts this season.

Offensive Line Paves The Way, Provides Protection: Behind an offensive line featuring Jordan Gross at left tackle, Travelle Wharton at left guard, Ryan Kalil at center, Keydrick Vincent at right guard and Jeff Otah at right tackle, the Panthers accumulated 144 yards rushing and one touchdown on 25 attempts - an average of 5.8 yards per carry - and allowed one sack. This represented a vast improvement over Week 1 when Carolina averaged 2.9 yards per carry and allowed five sacks.

In The Zone: The Panthers scored on two-of-three trips inside the Falcons' 20-yard line, producing two touchdowns. Carolina failed to score when Atlanta cornerback Chris Houston intercepted Jake Delhomme at the four-yard line in the fourth quarter. The Panthers have been successful on four-of-six red zone opportunities, scoring three touchdowns and one field goal for a 66.7 percent conversion rate and 50.0 percent touchdown conversion rate, this season.

Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina forced two turnovers on an interception by cornerback Richard Marshall and a fumble that was recovered by safety Quinton Teal and forced by safety Charles Godfrey. The Panthers turned it over twice on one interception and one fumble to finish with an even turnover ratio. The two takeaways resulted in no points for Carolina, and the two giveaways led to seven points for Atlanta. The Panthers have a negative-five turnover ratio this season, compiling an 0-1 record when being even in turnover margin and an 0-1 record when having a negative turnover margin.

The Specialists: Kicker John Kasay connected on both of his field-goal attempts, converting from 38 and 50 yards, and both of his extra-point chances. Over his 19-year NFL career with Seattle and Carolina, Kasay has made 37-of-71 attempts of more than 50 yards, including 31-of-61 for the Panthers, with a career-long 56-yarder versus Green Bay (9/27/98). His 37 career field goals from 50 yards or more rank fourth in NFL history. Kasay has been successful on all three of his field-goal attempts and perfect on all three of his extra-point opportunities for 12 points this season.

Punter Jason Baker punted once for 51 yards and had one punt blocked. The two total punts equaled the fourth fewest in a game by Carolina, previously accomplished 10 times - most recently at New Orleans (12/28/08). Atlanta cornerback Brian Williams blocked a punt by Baker in the first quarter. It marked the first blocked punt against the Panthers since Geno Haynes registered one for Tampa Bay (10/12) and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. Baker had three punts blocked in 2008.

Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd placed four-of-five kickoffs in the end zone with two touchbacks. He has reached the end zone on seven-of-eight kickoffs and has recorded three touchbacks this season.

Claw Marks: The Panthers tied a team record for the fewest kickoff returns in a game with none, previously accomplished twice - most recently versus Baltimore (9/8/02). Falcons punter/kicker Michael Koenen notched a touchback on all five of his kickoffs...Carolina converted seven-of-12 third downs for a 58.3 percent conversion rate after being ineffective on third down in Week 1 when the Panthers were successful on just three-of-16 third downs for an 18.8 conversion rate.

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