Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said he hopes the team's latest victory -- a 25-17 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football -- can be the "start of something" after their 1-6 start to the season.
Ryan completed 21 of 30 passes for 281 yards and an interception in the win on Thursday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. He also had a rushing touchdown.
"It just felt like it was going to be a different night," Ryan told reporters. "I hope it's the start of something."
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones broke loose for 137 yards and seven catches in the win. Deion Jones, Isaiah Oliver and Dante Fowler Jr. each had sacks for Atlanta. Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo made four field goals.
"We have been in it in every game we've played this year," Ryan said. "We've had some crazy losses. I believe we have the caliber of team to be in every game this season. That's the mindset we have."
The Falcons took a 3-0 lead when Koo made a 20-yard field goal on the game's first possession. The Panthers responded with a six-play, 52-yard scoring drive, which was capped off by a 12-yard Curtis Samuel rushing touchdown.
Atlanta then got another Koo field goal to cut the Carolina lead to 7-6. The Panthers pushed their lead to 14-6 with a Teddy Bridgewater touchdown toss to Samuel 2:12 into the second quarter.
Ryan then broke free for a 13-yard rushing score on the next drive to cut the Panthers lead to 14-13. Koo then made his third field goal just before the break to give the Falcons a 16-14 lead at halftime.
He also made a 29-yard attempt on Atlanta's first drive of the second half. Joey Slye then made a field goal for the Panthers on the resulting third-quarter possession.
The Falcons answered the Slye field goal with an 11-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. Todd Gurley ran for a three-yard rushing score to cap off that possession. Neither team posted points for the final 11 minutes of the game.
"Tough loss," said Bridgewater, who completed 15 of 23 passes for 176 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Panthers.
"We've just got to find ways to finish these games. That can't be the common thing around here, coming up short. We get this weekend off, we're at the midpoint of the season, I think it's a good time for us to reflect -- see some of the things we've done well the first half of the season and see what we need to improve on."
The Panthers (3-5) face the Kansas City Chiefs at 1 p.m. EST on Nov. 8 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Falcons (2-6) host the Denver Broncos at 1 p.m. EST on Nov. 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.