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Reacting to the Falcons win over the Panthers in Week 16

The good vibes are not going away for this Falcons team.

San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Caleb Rutherford

Once again, the Falcons did not bend down to the level of their (clearly inferior) competition. They harassed Cam early and often on defense and were generally unopposed on offense. That Matt Ryan threw TDs to Josh Perkins and DJ Tialavea shows that not only is he in total control, but every single person in the building has bought into what the coaching staff is selling. The injuries at the TE spot are concerning, but handling our business one more time at home will give us an extra week of rest that we need.


For the third straight week, the Falcons offense had its way with another NFL team. This was a classic “trap” game for the Falcons, but they didn’t bite. If anything, this team looks more focused than ever. The defense played very well too, with guys like Deji Olatoye and Jalen Collins doing well covering the Panthers receivers all afternoon. At 10 wins already, the Falcons have already far exceeded the expectations for this season and it’s not even done yet. This is a fun team to watch, and they’re playing some of their best football at exactly the right time.


Julio wasn’t at full speed, and it didn’t make any difference.

The Falcons topped 500 points for the season. Fifteen players have had receptions. Ten have had 10+ receptions and 100+ receiving yards. Thirteen have caught passes for touchdowns - an NFL record. Ten have 2+ receiving touchdowns. Sanu has racked up 621 receiving yards and 30 first downs. Taylor Gabriel has exploded with 579 yards and 6 touchdowns. All three running backs are averaging over 4 yards per carry. Even better: in spite of the injuries, the young defense has held opposing offenses to 20 points or less in each of the last five games.

If you can get it done within your own division, the rest will usually take care of itself. Atlanta has done exactly that. After going 1-5 in divisional games last season, the Falcons are 4-1 within the NFC South this year to earn the division title. Break out those old BTO albums, because the Falcons are taking care of business.

Kevin Knight

Well, the Falcons pulled it off. They marched into Carolina, where they were shut out last season, and absolutely dominated the Panthers from start to finish. The offense was firing on all cylinders and the defense put together a good performance that flustered Newton all game. With the Bucs and the Seahawks losing, Atlanta officially won the NFC South and took over the #2 seed. With a win next week, they’ll get a first round playoff bye. What an amazing turn of events. I’m incredibly excited about this Falcons team, and we should all give Quinn and this team a round of applause for what they’ve accomplished this season.

Dave Choate

The 2013-2015 seasons taught me, painfully, to exercise a little caution and temper my enthusiasm for the Falcons. I never thought that Thomas Dimitroff was a bad general manager, or that Dan Quinn was a bad hire, but I did expect it to take until at least 2017 before this team would be relevant, and I thought Dimitroff might not survive until that time.

I’m happy to eat that crow. The Falcons are good—great on offense, in fact—and there’s the kind of foundation here on the roster and in the brain trust that you can feel good about. The playoffs are coming, a bye is in the offing, but the victory over Carolina was just another example of how far this team has come. Enjoy it.