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Falcons vs. Panthers 2016: Who to watch as Atlanta looks to lock up the NFC South

The Panthers are rising, but that's basically in our logo so I'm not too worried.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons can lock up the NFC South with a Tampa loss and a win in Carolina in this Christmas Eve matchup, and it doesn't look to come easy.

Here's who we're watching.

Paul Worrilow, Linebacker

It may have just been me, but Worrilow looks ever so slightly leaner this season despite playing on the second team. With De'Vondre Campbell still going through concussion protocol, Worrilow will get the start against a Panthers team that's gotten much better as of late. After a strong showing last week, we might not be in as bad of a situation as we initially thought.

Julio Jones, Wide Receiver

If you've been out of the Falcons loop for the past month, this will be Julio's first game back after a foot injury that he suffered in the Kansas City game three weeks ago. Atlanta's offense didn't seem to miss a beat against Los Angeles and San Francisco-- scoring 42 and 41 points respectively. I'm looking forward to seeing if Julio's return will help Matt Ryan and the offense keep up a similar pace.

Dan Quinn, Head Coach

In his short history of being a Falcons head coach, Quinn has sometimes found himself struggling to get wins against NFC South opponents. Outside of the Panther upset last season, 2015 was a horrible year for division play as we saw the Falcons go 1-5 against their rival opponents. With the division crown on the line, will Quinn's team start turning that record around?

Who are you keeping a close eye on this week?