Falcons Get Routed by Panthers 34-10, Fall to 2-6

Matt Ryan threw three interceptions in the loss. (Streeter Lecka)

Matt Ryan threw three interceptions in the blowout loss. (Streeter Lecka)

The Atlanta Falcons’ tumultuous season continues as they were routed 34-10 by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The Falcons have now lost four out of their last five games and have yet to record a victory on the road.

After throwing just three interceptions in the first six games, Ryan has been picked off seven times over the past two. He tossed three against the Panthers, including a pick six that put the game away in the fourth quarter.

Barring a miracle, playoff hopes for the Falcons (2-6) have been dashed.

Heading in a completely different direction are the Panthers (5-3), who have won four straight and sit only one game behind the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints.

Cam Newton was able to overcome a rocky start in a first half that saw him throw two picks – one each to rookies Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant – to lead his Panthers to the blowout win in the second half.

Even with Newton’s two turnovers in the first half, the Panthers still led 14-10 heading into halftime.

The Panthers struck first with a drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown run by Mike Tolbert. Carolina was given great field position after Ryan was intercepted by Luke Kuechly.

The Falcons scored their only touchdown of the game when Ryan hooked up with Tony Gonzalez for a 17-yard touchdown with 1:55 left in the second quarter. Atlanta wouldn’t score again.

Steven Jackson had a better game than his return from injury against the Arizona Cardinals. He rushed 13 times for 57 yards and caught three passes for 19 yards.

After posting back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, Harry Douglas caught just three balls for 82 yards. Gonzalez led the team with six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown.

In the loss was a bright spot: undrafted free agent linebacker Paul Worrilow posted a game-high 19 tackles. Curtis Lofton posted the same amount versus the New England Patriots in 2009, which is a team-high since 1994.

Sunday’s game could be just as bad as the Falcons host the surging Seattle Seahawks in the Georgia Dome.

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