The Falcons now stand at 10-2 atop of the NFC as we take on the Panthers on the road, so we bring you officially our 7th post in our Best Case/Worst Case evaluation of this week’s matchup. Show us some love and rec both of our posts.
This is the 2nd part of Turner_The_Burner's post Best Case Scenario vs. Panthers. See it here.
Flipping it to the Panthers
Due to technical errors, this week’s worst case scenario will be posted by me. I’m a bit torn about breaking tradition, as it must be noted since the Turner_The_Burner/dunlagh partnership formed the Falcons are 6-0. Nonetheless, as it has been said I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here and speak about where the Panthers can pose a threat. We should take this win, and it puts us well on the way to winning the NFC, but the Panthers do have some quality somewhere in the pile of missed assignments and poor coaching. So the worst case scenario for the Falcons is – They pressure Ryan, the Panthers force a few turnovers and their running game blows up.
They pressure Ryan: The Panthers have 21 sacks through the season, and can somehow generate pressure on the QB despite being bafflingly incapable of making a push against the run. DE Charles Johnson has 7.5 sacks (that’d be more than Julius Peppers by the way) so they’re hardly incapable of getting to the QB. We should be able to nuetralise this by giving Carolina a healthy dose of Michael Turner, Ovie Mughelli and (if needed) Gartrell Johnson III, but if the Panthers can get Ryan uncomfortable in the pocket, and force him into his happy feet ways, we might be in for a longer day than expected.
The Panthers force turnovers: As I mentioned in the best case scenario post, the Panthers pass defense has been very solid, generating 15 picks while allowing only 15 TDs and just over 200 yards a game. Their DBs are a little banged up this week, with Captain Munnerlyn and Chris Gamble potentially out. However, they’re a little like us in the secondary area, and are making a name for themselves as opportunistic (well, they would be if the media weren’t hating on the way they put their pads on). Anyway, if any pressure on Ryan can be generated, if happy feet Ryan returns with a toe-tappin’ frenzy, we might just shorten the field considerable for a Panthers team which is usually incapable of moving the football more than 30 yards at a time. If we can keep the Panthers out of field goal range, expect a good game statistically for our defense, but if they’re in the redzone then the rushing prowess of Jonathon Stewart and the skill of David Gettis and Steve Smith might just burn us for a few unwanted points.
Their running game blows up: The Panthers always match up well against us. When most successful, Carolina utilise their excellent rushing tandem of Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. However, this week DeAngelo is of no concern to us, what with him being on IR and all. This doesn’t mean we can’t get gashed on the ground. Our rushing defense has been impressive this year, but we did allow far too many yards for LeGarrette Blount and didn’t make as many stops in the backfield as we normally do. If you refer to the Packers game, we had nothing but pressure against the running back rush game – negative rush yards for running backs at halftime anyone? The difference with this game is, Jimmy Clausen has his moments, but Aaron Rodgers he aint. If we can stop the dangerous running game of the Panthers and make them one dimensional, it should be a glorious day for the Falcons. If we have to play against the run as well as matching up against Steve Smith on the outside, it could be a long day. If the Panthers are forced to pass all day, we might give them the game with our patented no pressure blitz and prevent /throw the game techniques, but I’d rather take my chances with Brent Grimes and William Moore keeping their eyes in the backfield than having Stewart coming charging at us, breaking 50 yard runs here and there.
That is all for the analysis for this week. 11-2 sounds pretty good to me, and I’ll take one week closer to the playoffs pretty well if we leave Charlotte with a W. Sorry about the issues with this week’s posts, as I said, we’ll get it sorted next week. dunlagh will be back next week if the technical issues fly away, and hopefully by the time the next best case/worst case is up the Falcons will be 11-2 and the Saints may have fallen to 9-4 (we can dream can’t we). Thanks for reading, and once again: Go Falcons!