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Rapid Reactions: Mike Davis powers Panthers to 23-16 win

Mike Davis

ATLANTA — The Panthers used a strong offensive showing to control the matchup against the Falcons, coming away with a 23-16 victory.

It's Carolina's first road win against Atlanta since 2014 and brings the 2020 team's record to 3-2.

Here are a few rapid reactions from the contest.


Running back Mike Davis is from Atlanta and showed out in his hometown, helping power the Panthers to their third victory.

Davis continuously bowled over defenders throughout the game. He took 16 carries for 89 yards and caught nine passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, giving him a career-high 149 yards from scrimmage.

Davis continually broke tackles and powered his way through defenders, especially on the Panthers' two-minute drill to end the first half. On that possession, Davis took a screen pass 23 yards to the Atlanta 29, breaking tackles and getting out of bounds to save a timeout with 46 seconds on the clock.

Davis finished off the possession with a wide-open touchdown catch from 2-yards out.

He now has 351 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in his three starts for Carolina.


The Falcons' offense had been quiet for most of the game but made things interesting in the second half. That's when safety Juston Burris ended a red–zone threat with his first interception as a Panther.

After Atlanta had trimmed Carolina's lead to 20-13 with a 15-play drive ending in a field goal, the Falcons were back inside the red zone. But on third-and-4 from Carolina's 5-yard line, quarterback Matt Ryan fired a pass to the back of the end zone for wide receiver Russell Gage and instead found Burris. The Panthers' safety had tight coverage and was able to step in front of the pass and get two feet down before falling out of the back of the end zone.

The extra possession kept Atlanta off the board and gave Carolina its opportunity for a game-clinching drive.


Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played well throughout the season but was particularly on point Sunday in Atlanta. He finished 27-of-37 passing for 313 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Bridgewater also had the most passing yards in the first half of any quarterback this season, throwing for 261 yards.

Bridgewater got a rhythm going on a field-goal drive in the first quarter, connecting with wide receiver Curtis Samuel to convert three third downs.

But the quarterback turned it up in the second quarter, completing 12 of his 15 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver DJ Moore caught a short pass on the left side and turned it into a 57-yard touchdown with 2:30 left, capping a five-play, 88-yard drive.


The Panthers put together a two-minute drive just before halftime that was as good as it gets to take a 20-7 lead.

Atlanta's 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty to start the possession set Carolina on the right track. But from there, Bridgewater was on target with completions to Davis, Anderson, and Moore to put Carolina at its own 48.

Davis then took a screen 23 yards. Then, after Anderson caught a 22-yard pass to give the Panthers first-and-goal at the 7-yard line, Atlanta had to use its last timeout for an injury. One play later, the Falcons left Davis wide open in the right flat for a 2-yard touchdown.

The nine-play, 89-yard drive took just 1:11 off the clock.


Cornerback Donte Jackson, defensive end Brian Burns, defensive tackle Kawann Short, and defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos left the game and did not return.

Jackson has been battling through the toe injury, and while he started the game, he left in the first series. Rookie cornerback Troy Pride Jr. played the rest of the contest in Jackson's place.

Burns had just recorded a strip-sack on Ryan midway through the second quarter, but safety Juston Burris couldn't come up with the loose ball while attempting to scoop-and-score, leaving Atlanta with the ball. On the next play, Burns went down after splitting a tackle with linebacker Shaq Thompson. Burns was able to walk off the field under his own power and into the locker room, but he was diagnosed with a concussion and is in the protocol.

It was announced Short had a shoulder injury and was out late in the fourth quarter. Gross-Matos left the game with an ankle injury.

View photos from the Carolina-Atlanta game in Week 5 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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