FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Dan Quinn is trying to make the most out of missing the playoffs in his first season as Falcons head coach.
Atlanta didn't get eliminated from playoff contention until Minnesota won Sunday night, and Quinn says he still laments a six-game losing streak that ruined a 6-1 start.
Even so, the Falcons are coming off their best game under Quinn, knocking off unbeaten rival Carolina to erase some of the sting of a 38-point shutout earlier this month in Charlotte.
Quarterback Matt Ryan played his best game of the year, Julio Jones caught a dramatic touchdown pass and the defense contained Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Atlanta (8-7) closes out the season this week at home against New Orleans (6-9).