The Falcons (2-7) travel to “The Bank” to take on the Panthers (5-4) in an NFC South showdown and the first meeting between the two teams this season.
Panthers last game: L @ Packers (24-16)
Falcons last game: W @ Saints (26-9)
Falcons Playing Well Coming in
The Falcons pulled out the improbable victory in New Orleans against a Saints team that came into that game, winning their last 6 games. The Falcons’ defense did not let up a touchdown against the Saints. Impressive considering the Falcons were surrendering 31 points per game coming into that contest.
Atlanta did a great job of shutting down the run, allowing only 52 yards on the ground. The Saints were at full strength on offense and this Falcons team shut them down completely. If they are able to do to CMC what they did to Kamara, the Panthers could be in for a long day.
Look for the Falcons to build on that huge win in New Orleans as they are also playing for Dan Quinn’s job.
Panthers Run Defense
This is the key to every game going forward as it’s the Panthers’ biggest weakness. The Panthers are tied for dead last in the NFL when it comes to rushing yards allowed per attempt. The other team? The winless Bengals. This has got to change if the Panthers want any chance at the playoffs in 2019.
The Packers ran wild against the panthers rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns and while you can tell that Carolina is missing K.K. Short badly, no one is stepping up to be that run-stuffer in the middle. The Panthers do get James Bradberry back this week which is a huge boost when going up against Julio Jones and Matt Ryan.
The Falcons are riding high off a big win at New Orleans and the players seem to want to save Dan Quinn’s job. Freeman is out this game so Brian Hill will carry the load for Atlanta.
The Panthers are coming off of a tough loss in which they almost came back and had a chance to tie it with 7 seconds left, I think they come out motivated after a loss like that. Divisional games are usually high-intensity games and are rarely blowouts.
I see the Panthers getting the win here at home. With Devonta Freeman out for a couple of weeks, that should bode well for the Panther’s run defense.
Final: Panthers win 27-17