WATCH: 10 Takeaways from Atlanta Falcons win against Carolina Panthers
The Atlanta Falcons won their second consecutive game with a 29-3 victory against the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday. In the last two games, the Falcons have held the Panthers and Saints without touchdowns.
With the victory, Atlanta improved to 3-7. If the Falcons win again at home against the Buccaneers, the fanbase in Atlanta might start thinking about the P-word again.
Here are 10 takeaways from the latest big Falcons win against their rival:
1. Again, the Falcons produced tremendous pressure on the quarterback. Atlanta sacked Panthers signal caller Kyle Allen five times, giving the Falcons 11 sacks in the last two weeks.
On Sunday, four of Atlanta's five sacks came on third or fourth down.
Against the Saints last week, the pressure didn't produce any takeaways, but that changed versus the Panthers. Allen threw four interceptions, two of which came with him under heavy pressure.
The Falcons doubled their takeaway total for the season Sunday. They had just four takeaways in the first nine games of 2019.
2. Dan Quinn's decision to move Raheem Morris to coach the secondary continues to pay huge dividends. Morris is calling the third-down defensive playcalls, and on Sunday, the Falcons held Carolina to 2-for-14 on third down.
Prior to Morris taking over the third-down playcalls, opponents were converting 53 percent on third down. In the last two weeks under Morris, opponents are converting under 20 percent of their third-down tries.
3. The area where Morris has helped the most, though, is with the development of second-year cornerback Isaiah Oliver. The 23-year-old had a terrific game against the Panthers.
He recorded two pass defenses, but it felt like a lot more. Oliver had excellent coverage all day and didn't give up any big plays. One has to believe Morris is a big reason why Oliver has improved so much so quickly.
4. The Falcons red zone defense has improved too. Atlanta hasn't given up a touchdown on any of its last five defensive red-zone possessions. On Sunday, the Falcons picked off two passes in the red zone.
Atlanta has gone 10 quarters since yielding a touchdown.
5. The Falcons have come a long way in the penalty department as well. On Sunday, they committed just three accepted penalties, which is a new season low.
6. Offensively, quarterback Matt Ryan led the way with 311 passing yards and one touchdown. With that yardage, Ryan passed Warren Moon for the 10th-most passing yards in NFL history.
Ryan has an outside chance to move ahead of John Elway for ninth on the list before the end of the season. More realistic, if he stays healthy, that will be another milestone Ryan reaches next September.
7. The Falcons wide receivers had an absolutely terrific day in Charlotte. Of Ryan's 311 passing yards, 143 of them went to wideout Calvin Ridley, which was a new career high for the second-year receiver. Julio Jones posted 91 yards, 80 of which came in the first half.
Russell Gage had two receptions for 32 yards. He nearly had a touchdown, but it was overturned in replay.
8. The Falcons needed all that production from their receivers not just because they were missing tight end Austin Hooper and running back Devonta Freeman, but Atlanta couldn't get much of anything going in the running game. The Falcons finished with 54 rushing yards and averaged only 2.1 yards per carry.
It's not like the Panthers came into the day with a stout run defense either. Carolina was allowing an average of about 137 rushing yards per game, which was ranked 29th in the NFL before Sunday.
While it was great Atlanta was able to maintain offensive balance and win despite the lack of running game, those numbers do not bode well at all for the Falcons ground attack moving forward. They'll need more from Brian Hill, Kenjon Barner and Qadree Ollison next week.
9. The special teams played very well too. Barner's punt return for a 78-yard touchdown was obviously a big play, and Younghoe Koo went 3-for-4 on field goals and made two extra points. Koo is 7 of 8 on field-goal tries in two games.
10. As great as the Falcons looked, don't get too carried away with praise. Even when Allen had open receivers, he couldn't hit them, and a couple of his interceptions were just plain horrible throws. Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson dropped an interception that probably would have been a pick-six in the first quarter when the Falcons led 3-0. If he makes that play, the game is completely different.
Atlanta also produced just three points off of its four takeaways.
This isn't meant to minimize how the Falcons played. They are showing signs of improvement across the board. But from a Panthers perspective, it probably feels like they lost this game as much as the Falcons won it.