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Carolina collars Vick, stops Atlanta

By Associated Press
Published December 5, 2005

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Michael Vick looked left, right and straight ahead, frantically searching for some running room.

For the first time in his career, the Panthers closed all of Vick's available lanes and forced him to try to beat them with his arm.

He could not.

Despite his long history of running wild against the Panthers, Vick was bottled up all day Sunday and failed to create much offense for Atlanta as the Falcons managed two field goals.

"Mike had a lot of success against these guys and I know they had that in the back of their head," said Carolina linebacker Chris Draft, who spent five seasons in Atlanta. "So this is like finally getting the monkey off their back."

It was Vick's first loss to Carolina in six starts. Atlanta had won three straight and 12 of 14 against the Panthers.

"The streak was not going to last long, I knew that," said Vick. "I was just trying to keep it going as long as I could."

DeShaun Foster scored two touchdowns and became the first Carolina back to surpass 100 rushing yards this season.

Carolina was repeatedly embarrassed by Vick on the ground in his five previous starts, when he ran 40 times for 356 yards - 8.9 yards per carry. But Atlanta coach Jim Mora wants Vick to improve his passing and Mora stuck with that plan, holding Vick to three carries for 36 yards.

Tensions were high, with several on-field scuffles breaking out at the end of plays.

Jake Delhomme threw two 18-yard touchdowns, one to Foster, who rambled 18 yards for the score, and the second to Steve Smith, who stiff-armed his way past two defenders to dive into the end zone.

NOTABLE: Atlanta kick returner Allen Rossum (injured posterior cruciate ligament) is expected to miss up to two weeks.

[Last modified December 5, 2005, 03:00:29]


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