Alford hopes to atone for lapse in last Carolina game

Cornerback Robert Alford is hoping to rebound when the Falcons (7-7) face the undefeated Carolina Panthers (14-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

In the last meeting, Alford quit on play at resulted in a 74-yard touchdown by Panthers’ speedy wide receiver Ted Ginn.

“In the Carolina game, I didn’t hold up to our standard that we have in the cornerbacks room,” Alford said. “After that game, I came back the next day and talked to coach (Dan) Quinn and coach Marquand (Manuel). We were watching film and (looking) for things I can improve on. From the Jacksonville game, you can tell that I bounced back from it. That game is behind me know.”

Alford did not want to make any excuses for the play when asked if he thought Ginn had stepped out of bounds or if he saw the penalty flag.

“Every great athlete has a bad game,” Alford said. “Michael Jordan has had a bad game. Nobody is perfect in this world. Nobody is perfect at all. You are always going to have some ups and downs. It’s about how you bounce back from them.”

Quinn and Manuel stressed to Alford, the team’s right cornerback, that he has to finish every play.

Alford is his third year in the league after being selected in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Southeastern Louisiana. He hopes to grow from that embarrassing experience.

“It’s something that coach Marquand says all the time, you have to go to hell to come back to life,” Alford said. “That was a bad game for me. It’s about how I bounce back from it.”

Going back to the 2014 season, the Panthers have won 18 straight regular-season games, the longest streak since the Colts won 23 in 2008-09. Their last regular-season loss was to Minnesota (31-13) on Nov. 30, 2014.