CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Michael Vick completed 19 of 24 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns in just under three quarters of work Sunday, carrying the Atlanta Falcons to a 41-0 demolition of the Carolina Panthers.
It was the third shutout in the NFL this year and two of them have involved Atlanta victories over the Panthers. In their first meeting, the Falcons won, 30-0.
The Falcons (7-3-1), who have missed three straight postseasons since falling to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII, ran their unbeaten streak to seven games. Vick also rushed five times for 20 yards as Atlanta moved past New Orleans into second place in the NFC South.
Atlanta's record is the best of any non division leaders in the league.
"We're playing good football right now," Vick said. "We got opportunities and took advantage of them. Every game is fun. Even in tough situations, the game is fun."
Doug Johnson relieved Vick after Atlanta's fifth touchdown of the game, a four-yard pass from Vick to tight end Alge Crumpler. Johnson closed out the game mostly handing off to rookie T.J. Duckett, but did throw a five-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Gaylor on his only attempt.
Duckett carried 22 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for two touchdowns against Carolina on Oct. 20.
The Falcons started an important three-game road trip with style. Atlanta travels to Minnesota next week before a crucial divisional battle at Tampa Bay on Dec. 8.
"I'm really proud of this football team," Atlanta Coach Dan Reeves said. "Anytime you shut someone out, you're doing something right."
Carolina (3-8) has done little right during in its eight-game losing streak. This game was hardly different as the Panthers were forced to use three quarterbacks and could not find one to effectively move their offense.
"I don't think any of our quarterbacks played well enough to win today," Panthers Coach John Fox said.
Rodney Peete was six of 11 for 64 yards and threw two interceptions before he was relieved by Chris Weinke, who was no better. Weinke completed just three of eight passes for 26 yards and a pair of interceptions and was replaced by rookie Randy Fasani, who closed out the game by going three of six for 22 yards.
"We couldn't protect the quarterback," Panthers tight end Wesley Walls said. "I feel bad for the guys back there."
The Panthers gained a total of 122 yards, their lowest total since establishing a team record for futility with 113 in the franchise's second-ever game in 1995.
Atlanta posted its greatest margin of victory since 1973, when it defeated San Diego, 41-0. Carolina has suffered only one greater defeat in team history, a 52-9 thrashing at Oakland in 2000. The Panthers have never had a worse home loss.
"We just didn't have a lot of discipline today," Panthers rookie defensive end Julius Peppers said. "I made mistakes. We all made mistakes. We came out and didn't stop them."
Carolina has lost eight straight games after a 3-0 start. The Panthers have lost their last six games against the Falcons and all 13 of their divisional games since the end of the 2000 season.
"I was ashamed of our performance and (the players) should be too," Fox said. "I think turnovers and protection are the biggest reasons we lost. We had eight sacks today and we turned the ball over six times. That is not real conducive to winning against anybody. I think our team was ready to play. I thought we showed an effort."