Panthers Top Falcons, Tighten NFC South Race

The Carolina Panthers just made the NFC South a lot more complicated. Despite not winning a single game outside their division, they're alive and well in the division. With their 25-15 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football, they find could find themselves as little as one game behind by the end of the week. At 3-7, the Panthers have hardly demonstrated themselves to be one of the top teams in the league. Yet they've come through in the clutch in their crucial division games. Their run game and pass rush dominated the Falcons last night with 232 rushing yards and five sacks. Their defense smothered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 21-3 win in Week 7. They made all the plays they needed to in a comfortable 22-14 win over the New Orleans Saints Week 3 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Now at 3-1 in the division, the Panthers find themselves with potent tiebreakers should their NFC South rivals continue to struggle. If the Bucs stumble in Munich on Sunday in their matchup with the 6-3 Seattle Seahawks, they'll fall to 4-6 in the division, a mere half-game ahead of the Panthers for the top spot in the standings.

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