Panthers 10

(7-8, 3-4 away)

Falcons 3

(7-8, 3-5 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 24, 2006

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA 

1 2 3 4 T
CAR 0 10 0 010
ATL 3 0 0 03

Top Performers

Passing: M. Vick (ATL) - 109 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: D. Foster (CAR) - 28 CAR, 102 YDS

Receiving: A. Lelie (ATL) - 3 REC, 40 YDS

Carolina (6-8) at Atlanta (7-7)

Carolina (6-8) at Atlanta (7-7) Sunday 1:00 pm EST

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Michael Vick is trying to recover from a groin injury. Jake Delhomme has been sidelined for the last two weeks with a sprained ligament in his thumb.

The two quarterbacks hope to duel Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons host the Carolina Panthers in a battle of NFC South rivals.

The Falcons are in better shape to snag a playoff berth than the Panthers, who can only hope that an 8-8 record will be good enough.

That's not the way this season was supposed to be for Carolina, which made the NFC championship game last season and was expected to make another run at the Super Bowl.

But the Panthers enter Sunday's contest with a four-game losing streak - the last two coming with backup quarterback Chris Weinke filling in for the injured Delhomme.

Last week, Weinke was sacked five times and threw for just 170 yards in a 37-3 loss to Pittsburgh.

Atlanta is tied with the New York Giants and one game behind Philadelphia in the race for the two wild-card spots. The Falcons close the season at Philadelphia.

Vick suffered a groin injury while evading a pass rush on Atlanta's last series in last week's 38-28 loss to Dallas. Matt Schaub replaced Vick and was intercepted in the end zone by rookie Pat Watkins.

Vick scorched the Cowboys for four touchdown passes and also ran for 56 yards.

Vick has set a single-season rushing record for quarterbacks with 990 yards, surpassing the mark previously held by Bobby Douglass, who gained 968 yards for Chicago in 1972.

The Falcons posted a 20-6 win at Carolina in the season opener. Defensive end John Abraham had two sacks and two forced fumbles and Atlanta rushed for 252 yards. Vick threw for two touchdowns and Dunn gained 132 yards on 29 carries.

After covering Terrell Owens last week, Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall will likely get the assignment of shadowing Steve Smith, who has 76 catches for 1,081 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games this season. Smith missed the opener against the Falcons due to a groin injury. Last season, Smith had 16 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns in two games versus Atlanta.

The Falcons have won 10 of the last 13 meetings.


Passing Leaders

C. Newton58.531271812
D. Anderson67.070150
M. Ryan66.146942814
T. Yates75.06401

Rushing Leaders

J. Stewart1758094.63
C. Newton1035395.25
S. Jackson1907073.76
D. Freeman652483.81

Receiving Leaders

G. Olsen84100812.06
K. Benjamin73100813.89
J. Jones104159315.36
R. White8092111.57

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

Total YardsCAR
Yards PassingCAR
Yards RushingCAR
Yards AllowedCAR
Pass Yds AllowedCAR
Rush Yds AllowedCAR

Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)

Atlanta leads 8-4
Sep 10, 2006CAR 6, ATL 20
Jan 1, 2006CAR 44, @ATL 11
Dec 4, 2005CAR 24, ATL 6
Dec 18, 2004CAR 31, @ATL 34
Oct 3, 2004CAR 10, ATL 27
Dec 7, 2003CAR 14, @ATL 20
Sep 28, 2003CAR 23, ATL 3
Nov 24, 2002CAR 0, ATL 41
Oct 20, 2002CAR 0, @ATL 30
Nov 25, 2001CAR 7, ATL 10
Sep 23, 2001CAR 16, @ATL 24