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Falcons clinch playoff spot, beat Panthers on Bryant's 5 FGs

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Falcons have no complaints about a short practice week and a long road trip as their reward for being the NFC's last team to make the playoffs.

Matt Bryant kicked five field goals, including a 56-yarder, for all of Atlanta's second-half points and the Falcons clinched a playoff spot by beating the Carolina Panthers 22-10 on Sunday.

Atlanta (10-6) is the No. 6 seed in the NFC and will play at the Los Angeles Rams in a wild-card game Saturday night.

''We're in it. That's the only thing you can ask for,'' Bryant said.

After the teams played to a 7-7 halftime tie, the 42-year-old Bryant kicked field goals of 30, 42, 30, 56 and 33 yards without a miss.

''We needed every point we could get today,'' Bryant said.

On a day when Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense struggled, Bryant's 15 points provided a margin too great for Carolina to overcome.

The Panthers were held to 248 total yards.

''We didn't play well enough to win,'' tight end Greg Olsen said. ''We can lie to ourselves, but we just didn't play well enough offensively to win.''

The Panthers (11-5) had a playoff spot secured entering the weekend, but they couldn't improve their position.

Minnesota's 23-10 win over Chicago earlier Sunday ended the Panthers' hopes of a first-round bye. The loss to the Falcons ended Carolina's goal of winning the NFC South, and the Panthers will open the playoffs at New Orleans on Sunday.

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said the Panthers have to move past the loss quickly.

''It's time to let this one go,'' Munnerlyn said. ''We don't have time to let this loss linger on. It's playoff time. We've got to let it go, move forward and get ready for New Orleans.''

Matt Ryan completed 28 of 45 passes for 317 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Freeman on Atlanta's opening drive, and no interceptions.

The Panthers pulled even on Newton's 4-yard scoring pass to Devin Funchess late in the first half.

Newton threw three second-half interceptions. The third interception, by Robert Alford in the end zone with 8 seconds remaining, ended the Panthers' final drive. Newton completed 14 of 34 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. He led Carolina with 59 yards rushing, including a 17-yarder.

Newton said facing the Falcons, who faced a must-win situation, created a playoff environment.

''This is playoff football,'' Newton said. ''This was a hostile environment today and the way it's looking we're going to have a lot of hostile environments to go into.''

The Panthers' only offensive highlight was a 16-play touchdown drive that consumed more than half of the second quarter and tied the game at 7. Newton completed a 27-yard pass to Brenton Bersin on a third-and-23 play to set up his scoring pass to Funchess.

The Falcons will be playing for a repeat trip to the Super Bowl.

''All you want is an opportunity,'' said defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who had a sack and three tackles for losses. ''We have one. Now it's up to us to take advantage of it.''

SLOW START

Newton was 0 for 9 before finally completing his final seven passes of the first half. Newton completed his first pass to McCaffrey - for a loss of 3 yards - midway through the second quarter.

MILESTONE FOR JULIO

Julio Jones caught a 14-yard pass midway through the third quarter to reach 9,000 career yards faster than any receiver since the 1970 merger.

The two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection last month set the league mark with the most catches and yards receiving in a receiver's first 90 games.

Jones finished with five catches for 80 yards, giving him 9,054 for his career.

TD ERASED ON REVIEW

With the game tied in the third quarter, the Falcons had an apparent touchdown taken off the board when a review showed Mohamed Sanu didn't maintain control of a 12-yard catch in the end zone. The ball hit the ground after Sanu collided with Jones, who also was crossing to the middle of the end zone.

The Falcons settled for Bryant's first 30-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.

NO STEWART

Running back Jonathan Stewart was scratched due to back tightness. The Panthers also were without two more starters: safety Kurt Coleman (ankle), and right guard Trai Turner (concussion).

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina will play at New Orleans on Sunday in the first round of the NFC playoffs.

Falcons: Atlanta will visit the Rams on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.

---

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Copyright 2017 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
C. Newton 1 QB
180 PaYds, PaTD, 3 INTs, 59 RuYds
12
FPTS
M. Ryan 2 QB
317 PaYds, PaTD, 14 RuYds
19
FPTS
Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 2:27
M.Bryant 33 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
4
plays
8
yds
1:41
pos
10
22
Field Goal 6:37
M.Bryant 56 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
8
plays
37
yds
3:57
pos
10
19
Field Goal 10:34
G.Gano 42 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Jansen, Holder-M.Palardy.
7
plays
51
yds
3:37
pos
10
16
Field Goal 14:11
M.Bryant 30 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
8
plays
60
yds
3:26
pos
7
16
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 3:44
M.Bryant 42 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
5
plays
15
yds
2:00
pos
7
13
Field Goal 6:31
M.Bryant 30 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
13
plays
68
yds
6:55
pos
7
10
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:50
G.Gano extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Jansen, Holder-M.Palardy.
plays
yds
pos
7
7
Touchdown 0:50
C.Newton pass short left to D.Funchess for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
16
plays
78
yds
8:25
pos
6
7
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 10:32
M.Bryant extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 10:32
M.Ryan pass short left to D.Freeman for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN [V.Butler].
10
plays
75
yds
4:28
pos
0
6
Team Stats
Time of Pos 25:18 34:42
1st Downs 15 20
Rushing 5 3
Passing 9 16
Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Conv 5-15 6-16
4th Down Conv 1-1 0-0
Total Net Yards 248 371
Total Plays 60 72
Avg Gain 4.1 5.2
Net Yards Rushing 87 60
Rush Attempts 24 26
Avg Rush Yards 3.6 2.3
Net Yards Passing 161 311
Comp. - Att. 14-34 28-45
Yards Per Pass 4.7 6.9
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-19 1-6
Penalties - Yards 5-35 7-60
Touchdowns 1 1
Rushing TDs 0 0
Passing TDs 1 1
Other 0 0
Turnovers 3 0
Fumbles - Lost 2-0 1-0
Int. Thrown 3 0
Punts - Avg 7-47.0 5-46.6
Return Yards 34 41
Punts - Returns 2-15 4-18
Kickoffs - Returns 1-19 0-0
Int. - Returns 0-0 3-23
Kicking 2/2 6/6
Extra Points 1/1 1/1
Field Goals 1/1 5/5
Red Zone Eff. 1-2 -50% 1-5 -20%
Goal to Go Eff. 1-2 -50% 0-0 -0%
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Panthers 11-5 070310
Falcons 10-6 706922
161 PASS YDS 311
87 RUSH YDS 60
248 TOTAL YDS 371
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
C. Newton 1 QB
12
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
41.2% 180 1 3 31.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
59.1% 3302 22 16 80.7
C. Newton 14/34 180 1 3 12
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
C. Newton 1 QB
12
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 59 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
139 754 6
C. Newton 11 59 0 17 12
C. Artis-Payne 34 RB
1
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
18 95 1
C. Artis-Payne 5 16 0 12 1
C. McCaffrey 22 RB
5
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 14 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
117 435 2
C. McCaffrey 6 14 0 8 5
F. Whittaker 43 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 18 0
F. Whittaker 1 0 0 0 0
K. Clay 12 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 27 0
K. Clay 1 -2 0 -2 1
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Funchess 17 WR
10
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 2 48 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 63 840 8
D. Funchess 6 2 48 1 44 10
C. McCaffrey 22 RB
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
8 5 40 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 80 651 5
C. McCaffrey 8 5 40 0 20 5
B. Bersin 11 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
4 2 36 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 8 128 0
B. Bersin 4 2 36 0 27 3
E. Dickson 84 TE
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 2 22 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 30 437 1
E. Dickson 3 2 22 0 11 2
K. Clay 12 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 1 15 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 6 85 0
K. Clay 2 1 15 0 15 1
G. Olsen 88 TE
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
9 1 10 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 17 191 1
G. Olsen 9 1 10 0 10 1
F. Whittaker 43 RB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 9 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 5 47 1
F. Whittaker 1 1 9 0 9 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
L. Kuechly 59 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
74-51 3 1.5
L. Kuechly 8-2 0.5 0 0
T. Davis 58 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
52-24 0 2.0
T. Davis 8-2 0.0 0 0
D. Worley 26 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
50-14 2 1.0
D. Worley 5-2 0.0 0 0
M. Adams 29 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
48-21 2 0.0
M. Adams 5-0 0.0 0 1
C. Munnerlyn 41 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
24-5 0 2.0
C. Munnerlyn 5-0 0.0 0 0
S. Green-Thompson 54 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
41-20 0 2.0
S. Green-Thompson 4-2 0.0 0 0
J. Bradberry 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
66-19 2 1.0
J. Bradberry 3-2 0.0 0 0
K. Short 99 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-22 0 7.0
K. Short 3-0 0.0 0 0
W. Horton 96 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-6 0 5.0
W. Horton 2-0 0.0 0 0
C. Jones 42 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
14-9 1 0.0
C. Jones 2-2 0.0 0 0
B. Jacobs 53 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
B. Jacobs 1-0 0.0 0 0
K. Clay 12 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
K. Clay 1-0 0.0 0 0
R. Shepard 19 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-1 0 0.0
R. Shepard 1-1 0.0 0 0
V. Butler 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-5 0 0.0
V. Butler 1-0 0.0 0 0
D. Funchess 17 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Funchess 1-0 0.0 0 0
K. Love 93 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-7 0 3.0
K. Love 1-0 0.0 0 0
J. Byrd 31 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-2 0 0.0
J. Byrd 1-0 0.0 0 0
M. Addison 97 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-17 0 10.5
M. Addison 1-1 0.5 0 0
D. Mayo 55 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-11 0 0.0
D. Mayo 0-1 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
G. Gano 9 K
4
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 1/1
SEASON FG XP
29/30 34/37
G. Gano 1/1 42 1/1 4
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Palardy 5 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 47.0 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
71 46.0 25
M. Palardy 7 47.0 0 60
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Clay 12 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 19.0 19 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 17.3 19 0
K. Clay 1 19.0 19 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Clay 12 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 7.5 8 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
19 7.8 120 1
K. Clay 2 7.5 8 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
M. Ryan 2 QB
19
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
62.2% 317 1 0 90.7
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.7% 4095 20 12 91.4
M. Ryan 28/45 317 1 0 19
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Freeman 24 RB
16
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 23 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
196 865 7
D. Freeman 11 23 0 5 16
T. Coleman 26 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 23 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
156 628 5
T. Coleman 11 23 0 6 3
M. Ryan 2 QB
19
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 14 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
32 143 0
M. Ryan 3 14 0 13 19
M. Sanu 12 WR
7
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 10 0
M. Sanu 1 0 0 0 7
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Freeman 24 RB
16
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
11 9 85 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 36 317 1
D. Freeman 11 9 85 1 26 16
J. Jones 11 WR
8
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
11 5 80 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 88 1444 3
J. Jones 11 5 80 0 27 8
M. Sanu 12 WR
7
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
11 7 71 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 67 703 5
M. Sanu 11 7 71 0 18 7
A. Hooper 81 TE
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 35 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 49 526 3
A. Hooper 3 3 35 0 24 3
J. Hardy 14 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 2 32 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 20 221 3
J. Hardy 3 2 32 0 17 3
T. Coleman 26 RB
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 14 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 27 299 3
T. Coleman 2 2 14 0 12 3
T. Gabriel 18 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 0 0 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 33 378 1
T. Gabriel 1 0 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
D. Jones 45 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
91-47 3 1.0
D. Jones 5-5 0.0 0 0
K. Neal 22 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
83-33 1 0.0
K. Neal 4-1 0.0 1 0
G. Jarrett 97 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
34-21 0 4.0
G. Jarrett 3-0 1.0 0 0
A. Rubin 79 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-8 0 0.0
A. Rubin 3-0 0.0 0 0
D. Campbell 59 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
61-31 0 2.0
D. Campbell 3-1 0.0 0 0
C. Upshaw 91 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-4 0 1.0
C. Upshaw 2-1 0.0 0 0
R. Alford 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
60-8 1 0.0
R. Alford 2-0 0.0 1 0
D. Trufant 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
36-5 2 1.0
D. Trufant 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Riley 42 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
15-15 0 0.0
D. Riley 2-0 0.0 0 0
B. Poole 34 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
49-14 0 1.0
B. Poole 1-1 0.0 0 0
D. Coleman 40 FB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
13-2 0 0.0
D. Coleman 1-0 0.0 0 0
B. Reed 50 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
23-18 0 4.0
B. Reed 1-1 0.0 0 0
D. Shelby 90 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-14 0 1.0
D. Shelby 1-0 0.0 0 0
K. Ishmael 36 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
15-14 0 1.0
K. Ishmael 1-1 0.0 0 0
V. Beasley 44 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
23-6 0 5.0
V. Beasley 1-0 1.0 0 0
T. McKinley 98 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
15-5 0 6.0
T. McKinley 1-2 0.0 0 0
R. Allen 37 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
38-16 1 0.0
R. Allen 0-2 0.0 1 0
D. Poe 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
23-16 0 2.0
D. Poe 0-2 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Bryant 3 K
16
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
5/5 1/1
SEASON FG XP
34/39 35/35
M. Bryant 5/5 56 1/1 16
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Bosher 5 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 46.6 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
53 44.9 19
M. Bosher 5 46.6 2 54
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Roberts 19 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
4 4.5 9 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
27 7.4 27 0
A. Roberts 4 4.5 9 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:32 CAR 25 1:08 3 -2 Punt
6:03 CAR 17 2:06 6 29 Punt
1:35 CAR 10 1:52 4 8 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:16 CAR 40 1:01 3 0 Punt
9:15 CAR 22 8:25 16 78 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 CAR 22 1:34 3 6 Punt
6:31 CAR 25 0:47 2 3 INT
3:44 CAR 25 1:07 3 7 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:11 CAR 25 3:37 7 51 FG
6:37 CAR 25 1:10 3 -4 Punt
4:20 CAR 25 0:12 1 0 INT
2:27 CAR 25 2:19 10 56 INT
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 ATL 25 4:28 10 75 TD
9:24 ATL 15 3:21 7 28 Punt
3:57 ATL 21 2:22 5 29 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:43 ATL 12 2:27 3 9 Punt
11:15 ATL 25 2:00 5 10 Punt
0:50 ATL 25 0:50 5 39 Half
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:26 ATL 20 6:55 13 68 FG
5:44 CAR 39 2:00 5 15 FG
2:37 ATL 28 3:26 8 60 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:34 ATL 25 3:57 8 37 FG
5:27 ATL 30 1:07 3 4 Punt
4:08 CAR 23 1:41 4 8 FG
0:08 ATL 20 0:08 1 -1 Game