Originally posted on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 12/10/12
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

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could 'immediately' be successful GM

Villanova Wildcats: The quietest No. 1 team ever

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

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker