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Falcons are major underdogs to Panthers, obviously

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This is as it should be.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Would you be shocked if I told you people do not expect the Falcons to beat the Panthers?

The line opened with the Panthers as 6.5 point favorites, and it swiftly moved up to a full seven points. Depending on team health, that line could move further, and no one would particularly blame oddsmakers for deciding the Falcons of the last five weeks are not worth giving any benefit of the doubt to.

The only things working for the Falcons are obvious: This is divisional game, where the crazy frequently happens, the Panthers have traditionally had a little trouble with Atlanta at home, and the Falcons have been good at keeping games close and ugly, even if they can't finish them for crap. Given that they'll need to go on the road and contain Cam Newton and break a rival's undefeated streak, though, I can't say I expect them to triumph here. I just hope, after watching the Saints nearly take the Panthers to the brink a week ago, that Atlanta's got something deep in the well that we just haven't seen yet.

We'll have more Panthers coverage to come, so stay tuned.