Roddy White reminds he can still be an elite reciever

Answering any criticism that he lost his edge, Falcons’ wide receiver Roddy White had five catches for 67 yards Sunday, more yardage than any Panthers’ wide reciever or running back.

And the idea spurred by Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman that White regressed the Falcons’ “fifth receiver” didn’t register.

“It takes a lot more than that to fire me up,” White said. “I’m going to be me and be physical and get after guys and stuff like that. Try my best to get open and try to get the ball when it’s my turn and make some plays when I do.”

Four of White’s five receptions Sunday served as critical first downs conversions for the Falcons (8-7).

Quarterback Matt Ryan knew White would come up big each of the six times he was targeted.

“Rod’s one of my all time favorites. He’s an unbelievable competitor,” Ryan said. “The last two weeks in critical situations and in third-down situations, he’s come up with huge plays for us. I couldn’t ask for a better guy to be around, couldn’t ask for a better guy in the locker room and you couldn’t ask for a better guy in a critical situation in a game to step up and make a play.”

With over four minutes remaining in the game, White caught a 17 yard pass pushing the Falcons’ offense to the Panthers’ 22-yard line.

“I thought Roddy, some of the crossing routes he had were just tremendous catches,” coach Dan Quinn said. “We put a lot of time and emphasis into that, in the third-downs and the red zone to make sure we’re capitalizing off those. That emphasis has certainly paid off.”

The Falcons had 373 total offensive yards and were 9-of-15 in third-down conversions. The Panthers’ had 268 total offensive yards and were 4-of-10 on third-down.

“I wanted to beat them because we got skunked two weeks ago. That was the reason I wanted to win the game more than anything,” White said. “Them being 14-0, (my motivation wasn’t) anything like that. I just wanted to put on a better performance coming into it as a team and we did that today.”

Despite their 38-0 loss to the Panthers on Dec. 13, the Falcons’ showed drastic improvement in controlling the game after snapping a six-game losing streak over the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday.

“When we played really poorly two weeks ago, I viewed this game as a measuring stick of right now that’s the best that the NFL has to offer,” Quinn said. “We were at our worst against their best and I wanted to know what our best looked like against their best.”