The Falcons just did something very smart after Carolina cut Atlanta's lead to four points.
Stuck in the offensive doldrums, the Falcons shook it up. They went no-huddle, with Matt Ryan calling out plays at the line, walking around and making all sorts of motions pre-snap, a la Peyton Manning.
It worked very well, as suddenly Atlanta started moving again. The Falcons got to a first-and-goal at the 4 right as the third quarter ended, then had Michael Turner run it in on the first play of the fourth quarter from there. Cornerback Ken Lucas, who missed a tackle on Turner on the play, slapped the artificial turf.
So Carolina, despite generally outplaying Atlanta for most of the second and third quarters, trails by 11 as it enters the fourth.
If Carolina scores a TD early in this quarter, it will almost certainly go for 2, which would allow a field goal to tie it.
3 months ago