Final

Panthers 0

(3-4, 1-3 away)

Falcons 30

(3-3, 2-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 20, 2002

 

1 2 3 4 T
CAR 0 0 0 00
ATL 3 7 14 630

Vick does it all for Falcons in rout

ATLANTA (AP) -- Michael Vick feigned a pass to escape one defender, got past another by breaking a tackle and tiptoed down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown on his final play of the day.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Panthers: Are they in the midst of a monstrous losing streak similar to last year's?
Yes, I believe so -- until they can get QB Rodney Peete back (which I'm surprised to say). The veteran has been their most effective offensive weapon this year. The Panthers have a great defense, but right now the offense isn't able to keep the D off the field. So until Peete returns from his knee injury, the Panthers will have problems.

Question on the Falcons: Can they make a run at the playoffs?
In their division, it will be a difficult task. But QB Michael Vick is an exciting player with exciting potential. As he matures and as the Falcons upgrade their personnel, the Falcons will be playoff contenders in the future.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

He kept right on running, disappearing into the tunnel, probably looking for a television so he could watch what he just did.

"It's amazing,'' Vick said, shaking his head. "I just get up after some plays and say, 'Oh, man, I can't wait to see that one on film.'''

In a virtuoso one-man performance, Vick totaled 297 yards running and throwing to lead the Atlanta Falcons past the feeble Carolina Panthers 30-0 on Sunday.

Not bad for a guy who missed the previous game with an ailing shoulder. Not bad for a guy who played only three quarters.

"He's a freak,'' Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney said. "A human can't do what he's doing. He's a genetic step above the rest of the NFL. We better be careful. The Army is going to kidnap him, brainwash us all so we don't know where he went and create an army of Michael Vick clones.''

Vick had all sorts of plays worthy of the highlight film, saving the best for last. His 44-yard touchdown was the second-longest run by a quarterback in Falcons history, eclipsed only by Bob Berry's 45-yarder in 1968.

"Hey, it's just an ability I have,'' Vick said with a shrug.

The second-year quarterback completed 16 of 22 passes for 178 yards, ran six times for 91 yards and got credit for 28 yards receiving after running with a lateral -- all against the second-ranked defense in the NFL.

"It's totally different than reading about him or seeing him on film or TV,'' Panthers safety Mike Minter said. "The guy is quick, fast and strong. I mean, we had him dead-on a couple of times.''

Atlanta (3-3) moved past the Panthers in the NFC South, winning for the third time in four games. Carolina (3-4) is heading in the opposite direction, losing its fourth straight after starting the season 3-0.

Unlike the last three defeats, which were by a total of seven points, this one wasn't close. Atlanta posted its first shutout since a 13-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 14, 1993.

Carolina, playing without No. 1 quarterback Rodney Peete, did nothing on offense. The Panthers didn't cross midfield until late in the third quarter and didn't come close to scoring until the final minute.

Chris Weinke started at quarterback, but he was knocked out in the first half with a possible concussion after going just 3-of-8 for 26 yards.

Third-stringer Randy Fasani, a rookie from Stanford, went the rest of the way and didn't show much in his pro debut unless he was scrambling.

"When you've got a rookie in there who's never thrown a pass in the NFL, you feel like sicking the dogs on him,'' said Kerney, who had two sacks. "Nothing against him, but he's an inexperienced guy.''

Rookie T.J. Duckett, Atlanta's first-round draft pick, scored the first two touchdowns of his career.

But this day belonged to Vick, who had 92 more yards by himself than the Panthers managed as a team.

Vick had vowed that he wouldn't try to protect his right shoulder if he was healthy enough to play. He was true to his word.

"If I have to go half-speed, I'd rather sit on the bench,'' he said.

Michael Vick had 297 yards in total offense on Sunday.

Vick got things rolling by sprinting 28 yards with a lateral from offensive tackle Todd Weiner, who had come down with a deflected pass deep in the Falcons backfield.

But Vick was at his best on a 12-play, 79-yard drive that ate up nearly 10 minutes of the third quarter. He was 6-of-6 passing for 69 yards and ran twice for 25 yards.

One fan held up a sign: "You can't stop him.'' The guy next to him held up another placard: "U can only hope to contain him.''

Just ask Carolina end Mike Rucker, who nearly sacked Vick in the end zone at the start of the long drive, only to have him break free and throw a 21-yard pass to Shawn Jefferson. Vick also escaped up the middle for a 24-yard run, actually sliding at the end of the play to preserve his health.

Vick has been reticent to slide, but he got some tips Friday from Atlanta Braves coach Terry Pendleton.

Duckett finished the drive by powering over from the 1 to make it 17-0.

Duckett also scored on a 7-yard run late in the first half. The margin would have been more than 10-0 at halftime if Weiner had not been called for holding in the final minute, wiping out Vick's 68-yard touchdown pass to Willie Jackson.

It didn't matter. The Falcons took the second-half kickoff and held the ball for 9:52, finishing the game with a staggering advantage of 20:16 in time of possession.

Game notes


Vick broke his own team record for rushing yards by a quarterback. He had 72 in the season-opening loss to Green Bay. ... The Panthers, who ranked 29th in third-down conversions coming in, didn't help their percentage by going 3-of-11. ... Falcons CB Ray Buchanan had an interception in his return to the lineup after serving a four-game suspension for using steroids. ... Travis Jervey, a key player on the Atlanta special teams, was injured late in the game while running the ball. Doctors believe he tore the ACL in his left knee.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTERCARATL
atlTD0:27Michael Vick, 44 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 82 yds, 2:02
023
atl0:27
Drive info: 5 plays, 82 yds, 2:02
024
SECOND QUARTERCARATL
atlTD4:13T.J. Duckett, 7 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 61 yds, 4:02
09
atl4:13
Drive info: 9 plays, 61 yds, 4:02
010
FIRST QUARTERCARATL
atlFG4:16Jay Feely 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 47 yds, 1:41
03
FOURTH QUARTERCARATL
atlFG11:57Jay Feely 10 yd Field Goal027
atlFG2:13Jay Feely 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 30 yds, 5:30
030
THIRD QUARTERCARATL
atlTD5:34T.J. Duckett, 1 yd run
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yds, 10:01
016
atl5:34
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yds, 10:01
017