ATLANTA — Carolina’s bid for an undefeated season ended Sunday when Julio Jones’ dramatic 70-yard touchdown reception powered the Atlanta Falcons to a 20-13 victory over Cam Newton and the Panthers.
Carolina (14-1) had the ball with 90 seconds left and no timeouts remaining. Newton completed a 19-yard pass to Corey Brown on first down but fumbled on the following play when he was stripped by Vic Beasley Jr. Adrian Clayborn recovered for the Falcons, wrapping up Atlanta’s stunning Week 16 win.
Matt Ryan threw for 306 yards and one touchdown for the Falcons (8-7), and Devonta Freeman ran for 73 yards with a touchdown.
Newton threw for 142 yards and ran for 46 yards in the Panthers’ losing effort.
Carolina needed a win or a loss or tie by the Arizona Cardinals against the Green Bay Packers to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images