- The offense dominated the first quarter for both teams. The Carolina Panthers' offense started with the ball and went 80 yards on 11 plays for the first touchdown of the game. Cam Newton was able to scramble right up the middle for eight yards for the score. This was Newton's eighth rushing touchdown of the game.
- It was the Falcons turn to return the favor and were able to do something they couldn't the first time these two teams met: put points on the board. They actually sustained a 16-play drive that ended with a Devonta Freeman rushing touchdown.
- After a quiet week rushing the quarterback, the Panthers' defense has done a much better job getting pressure on Matt Ryan. Defensive tackle Kawann Short got the first sack for the Panthers and now has a team high 10 sacks on the year.
- The Panthers' offense continues to excel on the ground as they had over 100 rushing yards in the first half thanks to two big runs by Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne. Whittaker got the start in this game and had a 16-yard run on the opening drive. Then in the second quarter Artis-Payne had a big 34-yard run and had 48 rushing yards on four carries.
- The passing game seemed to struggle and Newton already has more incompletions in the first half (7) than he did all of last game (6). He finished the half with only 76 total yards and almost had an interception at the end of the first half but a heads up play by Philly Brown broke it up.
- The Panthers are going to have to grind this one out in the second half and lean heavily on the run game that was running well over the first two quarters. According to the Panthers, this is the lowest scoring half since October 18th, when the team only had seven against the Seattle Seahawks.