A QUARTERBACK: Cam Newton is in the midst of the best six-game stretch of his career. Running, throwing, leading the offense. Newton became the first player in NFL history to finish a game with at least 250 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and a touchdown rushing and throwing.
B RUNNING BACKS: DeAngelo Williams' 17 carries (for 56 yards) were his most since 2010. Williams held on to the ball and sealed the game with a 53-yard touchdown catch and run on a screen pass in the fourth quarter.
A RECEIVERS: Steve Smith carved up Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson, catching seven passes for 109 yards. It was the second consecutive 100-yard game for Smith and the 43rd of his career, tied for 10th all-time among NFL receivers.
B OFFENSIVE LINE: Much like they did at Kansas City, the linemen did a nice job protecting Newton and making blocks in the open field. Guards Amini Silatolu and Garry Williams led the way on Williams' touchdown.
B DEFENSIVE LINE: After sacking Matt Ryan seven times in Atlanta, the Panthers sacked him twice Sunday. But they pressured him on several other occasions and avoided the penalties that hurt them against the Chiefs.
A LINEBACKERS: Thomas Davis got a game ball after intercepting Ryan on a key fourth-down play in the fourth quarter. Luke Kuechly was all over the field and finished with 16 tackles, including 11 solo stops.
C DEFENSIVE BACKS: Rookie cornerback Josh Norman was benched for reasons that were not explained. Haruki Nakamura's groin injury left the Panthers with their fourth and fifth safeties. The Panthers gave up a lot of yardage late, but did not allow the Falcons' receivers to get behind them.
B- SPECIAL TEAMS: Graham Gano made all three of his field goal attempts and had three touchbacks among his six kickoffs. Armond Smith didnt provide a spark in his debut as kick returner, averaging 18 yards on three runbacks.
A COACHING: Despite missing five starters, the Panthers dominated the NFC's best team. Carolina racked up 475 yards, its most since its franchise-record, 543-yard effort in Week 4 last season at Chicago. The defense shut out the Falcons in the first half, and didn't allow a gain of more than 21 yards.