The Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy promised "payback" and "punishment" for the Atlanta Falcons last week, and that's eactly what they did.
The Falcons beat them in a 30-28 come-from-behind victory that had the Panthers feeling "disrespected." Hardy remembers all too well seeing Falcons QB Matt Ryan cursing at the Panthers sideline after that game telling them to get off their field. With the early season loss to Atlanta as energizing point, they came out ready to play.
Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two TDs, also scoring on the ground with a huge 72-yard run. In all, Newton had a career-high 116 yards rushing.
The 4-9 Panthers weren't playing for anything, but that's when a team with talent can be dangerous.
The Panthers defense came to play, holding Atlanta scoreless thru 2 1/2 quarters, while the offense racked up 23 points. Matt Ryan threw for 342 yards and two TD, but had a costly 4th-quarter INT.
Carolina won despite having four starters out and 13 players on injured reserve.