For the first time all season, Panthers players and coaches are left contemplating defeat.

Coming out of Sunday's stunning 20-13 loss to the up-and-down Falcons, it's not a feeling quarterback Cam Newton wants to revisit.

"There's no magic words that need to be said. You're not going hear me wave a wand or do anything like that," Newton said. "We got our ass kicked today, and to a lot of degree, we deserved it, especially the type of way we played. Offensively, defensively and special teams. And I'm talking with the mirror in front of my face. There were some plays that we left out there, we knew it. Yet, we know what we're capable of ... we've put ourselves in this situation where we can use this as fuel to the fire."

Falling to 14-1 is far from a crisis for an extremely talented team, but Sunday's loss changes the complexion of next week's regular-season finale for the Panthers. With Arizona's 38-8 waxing of the Packers, the NFC's top playoff seed remains up for grabs heading into Week 17. Carolina can hardly afford to slip up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.