Originally written on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 11/15/14
They say anything can happen on "Any Given Sunday" in the NFL and that's just what happened this week in Charlotte as the 3-9 Panthers took it to the one loss Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers came out motivated and simply dominated the Falcons in the first half.  How dominant were the Panthers? In the first half, the Falcons had just three possessions, just 13 plays and gained just 35 yards. The Panthers methodically moved the ball up and down the field on the Falcons and to compound things, the Falcons offense could not sustain drives which kept a tired defense, and depleted secondary, on the field all half long for the Falcons. Before we throw the white flag in let's take a look at what this means for the season. The ultimate measuring stick for the Falcons is to be successful this season in the playoffs. That could mean winning one game, two games or winning the Super Bowl. Let's take a look at some of the past Super Bowl champions and some failures they've had in December. Last years tournament winner, the New York Giants, lost in week 15 on December 18th to a Washington Redskins team that would finish just 5-11. The 2010 season champions, the Green Bay Packers, lost on December 12th to the Detroit Lions. The Lions won just six games in 2010. The 2009 New Orleans Saints lost their last three games of the season. Should I continue? The point is that all recent Super Bowl teams have had struggles in December. It's a myth that teams finish strong by sweeping December and then go into the Super Bowl hot. The concern with the Falcons and this game is the way the Falcons came out and played. They were lethargic and didn't look like they want to be there. The Panthers, on the hand, were motivated and came to play. When you factor in those two things, and the fact that these are professional athletes, the motivated team is going to win 95% of the time. Quite simply this was the Panthers "Super Bowl" and hats should go off to them as they came out and were the better team this week. Long-term for the Falcons, this game shouldn't have much of an effect other than helping to get our team re-focused. The biggest reason that the Panthers had so much success against the Falcons, other than simple motivation, was the spread option and any team that we play in the playoffs isn't going to have that in their playbook unless the Redskins sneak into the playoffs. In the NFL, good and great teams look bad at times during every season. This was that game for the Falcons. All you can do is learn from it and move onto next week and start preparing for the part of the season that really matter, the playoffs.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Russell Wilson to suit up for Texas Rangers Saturday

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.