Atlanta opened the game with a 10-play touchdown drive that embodies Carolina's season. Mistakes of all kinds -- penalties, open receivers, little pressure -- undid the Panthers. There was a theory out there, a hope, that the Panthers would perform well today for outgoing head coach John Fox.
The Falcons, after losing to New Orleans last week, are in position to clinch homefield advantage thoughout the playoffs with a victory, so they also have a reason to play well. And they're capable of it.