Newton down after loss to the Falcons

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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on losing to the Falcons and the not being able to go undefeated. Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was quick to give the Falcons credit for their stunning 20-13 victory over his previously undefeated team.

But he wasn’t very happy.

“We got our ass kicked today,” Newton said.

When asked how did it feel to lose their undefeated season, Newton snapped, “it didn’t tickle.”

Newton scored on an 8-yard touchdown run on the Panthers first-possession of the game. He danced around the Georgia Dome like he was on Soul Train back in the day.

But that would be the only touchdown for Newton and the Panthers, as the Falcons controlled their rushing attack enough and dropped into zone coverage and dared Newton to make accurate passes.

The Falcons every started to get a pass rush against him as they finished with two sacks and three quarterback hits.

Newton who’s thrown five touchdowns in three games this season, did not have a touchdown pass against the Falcons.

“We played lethargic at times,” said Newton, who played at Westlake High and is considered the league’s top MVP candidate. “We can’t just sit back and especially when we put ourselves in the position to be beat. We knew these Falcons were going to be exactly what they were today.

“We didn’t match their intensity at times and they just made more plays than us. Shouts to those guys, they played better.”

Newton did his part, including a powerful run to pick up a first down on third-and-eight where the entire Falcons defense had to stop him. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 142 yards. He finished with a 69 passer rating.

The Panthers close out the regular against Tampa Bay at home. If they have the No. 1 see wrapped up, they may rest their starters.

“We got a game next week, Newton said. “We are going to play next week.”

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