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Panthers DC: I wanted to jump from plane after loss

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The last time the Carolina Panthers faced the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan's crew destroyed defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's unit for 571 yards.

In that Week 4 matchup, Julio Jones clowned a young Panthers secondary for 300 receiving yards and Ryan dropped 503 passing. They became the first duo in NFL history to record 300 receiving yards and 500 passing yards in a single game.

McDermott was asked about how the flight back to Charlotte went after the game.

"Honestly? I wanted to open a window and jump," McDermott said jokingly on Tuesday, via the Charlotte Observer. "That's why you can't sleep at night. ... The plays that get away."

Rookie corner James Bradberry went down with an injury early in the 48-33 beatdown. The rest of the Panthers defensive backs got repeatedly picked on by Jones. The Panthers cut starter Bene' Benwikere the following week.

Entering Saturday's rematch in Charlotte, the Panthers still rank last in pass defense, allowing an average of 274.8 yards per game. The young back end still has a tendency for too many breakdowns, but Bradberry and fellow rookie Daryl Worley have improved as the season has progressed.

"It's been fun to watch them come together," McDermott said. "They've got heart. They've got character. Going into the game last night I'm not sure anybody gave them a chance with how potent Washington's offense was to that point."

The improvement of the Panthers defensive front has made all the difference in aiding the youthful corner group. Carolina enters the week tied for the most sacks in the NFL (40) with the Denver Broncos.

Jones got back on the practice field this week for Atlanta and should return after missing the past two games. With the game-changing receiver on the field, the Panthers defensive backs have a chance to prove how big a stride they've made in the course of 12 weeks. Even with an improving group, McDermott knows he has his hands full with the most diverse offensive attack in the NFL.

"I stay focused on the task at hand," McDermott said. "If there are phone calls on how to beat the Atlanta Falcons, yeah, I welcome that. Right now my phone is off the hook."

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