Falcons 6

(7-5, 4-2 away)

Panthers 24

(9-3, 5-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
ATL 3 3 0 06
CAR 7 7 0 1024

Top Performers

Passing: M. Vick (ATL) - 171 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: D. Foster (CAR) - 24 CAR, 131 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: S. Smith (CAR) - 7 REC, 65 YDS, 1 TD

Atlanta (7-4) at Carolina (8-3)

Atlanta (7-4) at Carolina (8-3) Sunday 1:00 pm EST

CHARLOTTE, North (Ticker) - A fourth straight win for the Atlanta Falcons over the Carolina Panthers would have added significance.

The Falcons can tie with Panthers atop the NFC South on Sunday when the teams meet for the first time this season.

While the Falcons have gotten the best of their division rival of late, two of three wins have come in overtime, including a 34-31 victory last December that wound up being a major blow to the Panthers' playoff hopes.

Atlanta has won nine of the last 10 meetings against the Panthers, with the only loss in that span coming in 2003 when Michael Vick was sidelined with a broken fibula.

The Falcons have had some extra time to get ready for this showdown following an easy 27-7 victory at Detroit on Thanksgiving. Vick threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns and Warrick Dunn rushed for 116 yards.

Dunn, who has rushed for 1,094 yards, leads the NFL's top-ranked rushing team which averages 183.1 yards. Of course that total is bolstered by Vick, who has rushed for 434 yards.

Dunn, Vick and T.J. Duckett should receive a stern test from the Panthers, who allow 82.2 yards per game on the ground to rank third in the league.

Carolina, which has won seven of its last eight games following a 2-2 start, also is a game in front of Tampa Bay in the division. The Panthers host the Bucs next week.

Last week, Jake Delhomme threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Michael Gaines with 2:16 remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the Panthers to a 13-9 victory at Buffalo.

Matchup to watch: Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, who has 75 catches for 1,161 yards and nine touchdowns, against left cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who has five interceptions.

Series: Atlanta leads, 14-6.

Next week: Atlanta hosts New Orleans, December 11 Carolina hosts Tampa Bay, December 12


Passing Leaders

M. Ryan65.13066199
T. Yates75.06401
C. Newton58.623921210
D. Anderson70.242440

Rushing Leaders

S. Jackson1415013.65
D. Freeman401543.90
J. Stewart843233.82
C. Newton642934.62

Receiving Leaders

J. Jones7298013.64
R. White5666211.85
K. Benjamin5276814.88
G. Olsen5671912.85

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsATL
Yards PassingATL
Yards RushingATL
Yards AllowedATL
Pass Yds AllowedATL
Rush Yds AllowedATL

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Atlanta leads 7-3
Dec 18, 2004ATL 34, CAR 31
Oct 3, 2004ATL 27, @CAR 10
Dec 7, 2003ATL 20, CAR 14
Sep 28, 2003ATL 3, @CAR 23
Nov 24, 2002ATL 41, @CAR 0
Oct 20, 2002ATL 30, CAR 0
Nov 25, 2001ATL 10, @CAR 7
Sep 23, 2001ATL 24, CAR 16