In the end, after weeks in which it looked like the NFC South champion might finish 6-10, a team that finished pretty close to .500 won the division after winning its last four games. Sure, 7-8-1 is bad, but it’s not even the worst division champion record of the last five years. What’s more, in doing so, the Panthers became the first team to win the NFC South in back-to-back years in the division’s 13-year history. That’s… something!
Today’s game was never in doubt. Carolina built a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. After Atlanta kicked a field goal to make it a one-score game in the second, Matt Ryan threw the first of his two pick-sixes in the game and the rout was on. Cam Newton didn’t escape without plenty of physical punishment, most notably manifested with a streak of blood that was running down his pants.
If losing the NFC South championship and probably getting your head coach fired isn’t bad enough for the Falcons, there’s this:
Bad loss and more…bad. Sewage system broke near the Falcons locker room inside Georgia Dome.
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) December 29, 2014