Panthers edge arch-rival Falcons, 20-17

Cam Newton, Panthers get off to running start in life without Kelvin Benjamin

The Carolina Panthers blanked the Atlanta Falcons for most of the final three quarters in a 20-17 victory Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.

But with Cam Newton running - and diving - over Falcons defenders, and Christian McCaffrey having his most effective day as pro, Carolina's offense came to life, rushing for more than 200 yards. Holding a 10-0 lead, the Falcons twice ran the ball on third- and fourth-and-1.

Atlanta entered the game 27th in the National Football League with a -5 turnover margin, and Carolina entered tied for 29th at -7.

Carolina is coming off a road stretch where the team played four road games in five weeks, finishing 3-1 away from home.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was Jones' first dropped pass in the end zone since 2012.

Instead, Adams beautifully undercut a throw to the tight end and then showed some good speed to run the ball all the way back to the Atlanta 31, setting up a go-ahead touchdown.

Atlanta holds the all-time series advantage, 27-17.

The Panthers are now tied with Pittsburgh for the most road wins this season at four.

Steph Curry is a huge Carolina Panthers fan, and he found himself envying Cam Newton's athleticism during Sunday's game against the Falcons. A deconstructed flea-flicker to Curtis Samuel went for 14 yards, while a reverse play was carried by Russell Shepard for 11 yards.

Palardy also pinned the Falcons within the 20-yard line after Atlanta scored to bring the game within three points.

Julius Peppers leads the team with 7.5 sacks.

After a disastrous start by Jonathan Stewart (see below), Newton took matters into his own hands - with help from a rookie RB and a stingy defense - to help the Panthers improve to 6-3.

While it is not all on the play calling it should be noted that the Falcons continue to get cute and refuse to make the easy calls like running the ball on short yardage downs.