Matt Ryan shredded Carolina’s defense, passing for a team-record 503 yards and four touchdowns, Julio Jones had 12 receptions for a Falcons-record 300 yards, and Atlanta beat the struggling Panthers 48-33 on Sunday.
One week after being held to one catch in a win at New Orleans, Jones had a 75-yard scoring catch late in the game as Atlanta solidified its early hold on the NFC South lead.
The totals by Ryan and Jones are the most ever allowed by Carolina.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton left the game in the fourth quarter and was evaluated for concussion symptoms after taking a hit from Deion Jones on a successful 2-point run. There appeared to be helmet-to-helmet contact but there was no penalty on the hit.
Robert Alford‘s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:14 remaining clinched the win. Alford picked off another pass from Anderson to end Carolina’s final possession.
The Falcons (3-1) began the day leading the NFL in scoring and total offense. They were rarely stopped by Carolina, even when pinned back close to their own goal line. They scored touchdowns after beginning drives on their 2- and 1-yard lines.
Carolina (1-3) has lost two straight. Newton was sacked only once after being sacked eight times in last week’s loss to Minnesota, but the Panthers‘ running game struggled as Jonathan Stewart was held out with a hamstring injury.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press