Sunday, December 19, 2004

Panthers Lose in OT to Falcons

The Carolina Panthers fell to the Atlanta Falcons Saturday night in the Georgia Dome on Jay Feely's 38-yard field goal 2:25 into overtime. The NFC South champs defeated Carolina for the ninth time in 10 games in their building and dropped the Panthers to 6-8 on the season. The loss was a heartbreaker for a team vexed by Atlanta Quarterback Michael Vick, another horrible performance by Carolina's special teams on defending the kick, and consistent bad judgement on the part of the officals.

The Falcons led by 14 points in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers reeled off 21 straight points to take a 31-24 lead with 3:37 remaining in the game. But with 1:37 left, Michael Vick ran for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 12-yard line, somehow keeping his knees from touching the ground as he extended to cross the goal line.

At 6-8, the Panthers are still mathematically alive for a wild-card berth, but their chances are severely dented. Their five-game winning streak snapped, the yeam will travel to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers next Sunday followed by the final game of the regular season at home against New Orleans.


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