(Charlotte) Thursday night games in the NFL aren't always very popular with players. But for those of the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, this week's duel between rivals in the National Association's Southern Section is very appealing.
They will then have the opportunity to turn the page on a series of unacceptable mistakes that led to the same result last Sunday: defeat.
The Falcons (1-6) let the victory slip away when running back Todd Gurley accidentally scored a touchdown with 1:04 left on the clock, as his team wanted to take their time and pull off a short winning field goal. Instead, the Detroit Lions got all the time in the world to pass 75 yards, score a touchdown and add a one-point convert enough to pull off a 23-22 victory.
The Panthers (3-4) made their blunder when QB Teddy Bridgewater was tackled behind the line of scrimmage, leaving the team on a 3rd down with 11 yards to go at the La Saints' line of 39. New Orleans. Charlotte's team then led 27-24, with two minutes to go.
On the next play, at 4-for-19, head coach Matt Rhule sent kicker Joey Slye in for a record 65-yard field goal, except he came short of the goalposts. Rhule called his decision a "fatal mistake".
“Playing on Thursday night lets you forget about a bitter loss that happened the week before,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. It's good to get back to work quickly, develop a game plan, chat with the coaches and get into practice for Thursday night. "
Or, as Bridgewater said, it helps "turn the page" on the last game: "This is the right thing to do", hammered Bridgewater.
The Panthers defeated the Falcons 23-16 less than three weeks ago in Atlanta, and Bridgewater took the opportunity to amass 313 yards and throw two touchdowns. Running back Mike Davis also had 149 rushing yards.
Fatal defeat for Falcons coach
The Falcons could have drawn a tie late in the game, but cornerback Rasul Douglas managed an interception at Ryan's expense in the end zone. The loss took the Falcons' record to 0-5. A few hours later they fired head coach Dan Quinn, replacing him with Raheem Morris.
“We will face a team that feels like they let the victory slip away in our last game,” concluded Bridgewater.