Final

Panthers 10

(7-8, 3-4 away)

Falcons 3

(7-8, 3-5 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 24, 2006

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA 

1 2 3 4 T
CAR 0 10 0 010
ATL 3 0 0 03

Top Performers

Passing: M. Vick (ATL) - 109 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: D. Foster (CAR) - 28 CAR, 102 YDS

Receiving: A. Lelie (ATL) - 3 REC, 40 YDS

Panthers stop Falcons, 1,000-yard rusher Vick

ATLANTA (AP) -- Chris Weinke credited his first win in five years to Carolina's renewed emphasis on the running game, while another Atlanta loss left Michael Vick wondering about his team's direction.

Quarterback Rushing Record
Michael Vick
Vick
Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick became the first NFL quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season Sunday. Vick, who needed only 10 yards to reach the mark, gained 17 on his first carry on the Falcons' opening possession.
QBSeasonTeamRush yds
Michael Vick2006ATL1,022**
Bobby Douglass1972CHI968
Randall Cunningham1990PHI942
Michael Vick2004ATL902
Michael Vick2002ATL777
** through 15 games

No matter the perspective of the quarterbacks, Carolina's 10-3 win over the Falcons Sunday left each team one game under .500 -- and still in the jumbled NFC wild-card playoff hunt -- with one week left in the season.

The Falcons (7-8) suffered their fourth-straight home loss.

Vick seemed to question decisions by coach Jim Mora and his staff.

"We've got first-round guys, we've got guys that have been in the Pro Bowl offensively and defensively, guys who've been in the scheme for two to three years," Vick said. "You know, the talent level is there, and I just think it's a question that needs to be answered. I don't know what it is, but we're too good to be losing these games, and we should be ranked among the elite in this league this year and we're not."

Field Goal Record
Morten Andersen
Andersen
Atlanta Falcons kicker Morten Andersen hit a 40-yard field goal against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, passing Gary Anderson for most field goals made in NFL history.
PlayerFGs
Morten Andersen539
Gary Anderson538

Added Vick: "You just can't come out there and just try to wing it. I'm not saying that we did that, but either we've got to come out and throw the football or come out and try to establish the run."

There was no question about the Panthers' offensive mission.

Carolina (7-8) outgained the Falcons' league-leading rushing attack 183-83.

Weinke completed only 4 of 7 passes for 32 yards, but that included a 1-yard scoring pass to Jeff King for the game's only touchdown as the run-oriented Panthers snapped a four-game losing streak and Weinke snapped a personal 17-game losing streak as a starter.

Weinke's only previous win came in his first game as a starter for Carolina on Sept. 9, 2001 at Minnesota.

Weinke directed a devastating first-half touchdown drive that lasted 10 minutes, 36 seconds. He called 12 straight running plays before throwing his first pass in the 16-play drive.

"That was our emphasis all week," Weinke said.

The Panthers had the ball for 41 minutes, 47 seconds compared to 18 minutes, 13 seconds for the Falcons.

That sort of domination "is what happens when you run the ball," Weinke said.

DeShaun Foster rushed for 102 yards on 28 carries. DeAngelo Williams added 21 carries for 82 yards rushing, with much of his production coming on keepers while lining up at quarterback in a shotgun formation.

"We put that little segment in this week," Weinke said.

The Falcons were slow to adjust.

"A couple of times they had us outnumbered to the side of the run," Mora said. "We didn't adjust to it well enough early."

The Panthers had first-down run for 9, 6, 6, 9, 5, 4 and 1 yards as they ran down the clock in their long touchdown drive. Weinke's scoring pass to King, a rookie third-string tight end, came on the first play of the second period.

King's first career reception came two plays after Williams ran 3 yards to the 1 on his first play at quarterback.

"It wasn't just me back there," Williams said. "The offensive line did a great job of blocking. We did a good job today running all the plays."

The long drive seemed to leave the Falcons' offense groggy after their long wait on the sideline.

"We kind of had a rhythm going, and to be over there for that length of time wasn't good for our offense," Vick said.

John Kasay kicked a 42-yard field goal for Carolina in the second quarter, giving the veteran 27 straight successful kicks under 50 yards and giving Carolina a 10-3 lead.

The Falcons' final threat stalled at the Carolina 35 with 1:19 left when Vick's fourth-down pass was tipped at the line by former Falcons linebacker Chris Draft.

Atlanta's only highlights were personal milestones for Vick and kicker Morten Andersen.

On his first carry, Vick rushed for 17 yards to become the first NFL quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Andersen gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead with a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter that moved him past Gary Anderson for the all-time lead. Andersen now has 539 career field goals.

Vick had four carries for 32 yards and completed 9 of 20 passes for 109 yards with two interceptions. Warrick Dunn gained 29 yards on nine carries.

Allen Rossum's potential game-tying 80-yard punt return midway through the fourth quarter was nullified by a clipping penalty against Falcons receiver Michael Jenkins.

The Panthers won despite playing without quarterback Jake Delhomme (thumb), who was out for the third straight week.

Game notes


The Falcons lost their last four home games of the season for the first time since 1989. ... Weinke's 17-game losing streak is the second-longest in NFL history. The Oilers' Dan Pastorini lost 21 straight from 1972-74. ... Vick and Dunn became the first quarterback-running back tandem to each rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CAR
ATL
1st Downs158
Passing 1st downs
16
Rushing 1st downs
132
1st downs from penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
8-163-10
4th down efficiency
0-00-1
Total Plays6242
Total Yards194177
Yards per play3.14.2
Total Drives109
Passing1194
Comp-Att
4-79-20
Yards per pass
1.14.1
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-213-15
Rushing18383
Rushing Attempts
5219
Yards per rush
3.54.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-10-0
Penalties8-624-35
Turnovers02
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession41:4718:13

Passing Leaders

CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Weinke4/7324.6103-21
ATLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Vick9/201095.5023-15

Rushing Leaders

CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Foster281023.6011
Williams21823.9010
ATLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Vick4328.0018
Dunn9293.2014

Receiving Leaders

CARRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson12121.0021
Foster155.005
ATLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Lelie34013.3026
Crumpler33913.0019

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCARATL
atlFG10:36Morten Andersen 40 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 61 yds, 4:28
03
SECOND QUARTERCARATL
carTD15:00Jeff King, 1 yd pass from Chris Weinke (John Kasay kick is good)
Drive info: 16 plays, 73 yds, 10:36
73
carFG1:54John Kasay 42 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 19 yds, 2:58
103