If you were to draw up a list of the most potentially difficult games in 2016, you would mention the Broncos and Seahawks on the road, and you would surely point out the divisional matchups. For a combination of difficulty and outright hostility, though, you’re unlikely to beat the Panthers in Week 16.
That’s literally true, too, because there are very few scenarios in which I can see the Falcons winning this game, and all of them involve either a vastly improved Falcons team or Cam Newton being pinned under a giant log somewhere in the forests of Yosemite National Park. That’s not a slight to the Falcons, but an acknowledgement that the Panthers are very good and tough to beat home.
We already previewed the Panthers once for the earlier matchup, so we won’t dredge all of that up again. Instead, we’ll look at the series history for these two teams.
Falcons 25, Panthers 17
Well, that certainly makes me feel better about the last couple of years. Carolina has been to two Super Bowls and has inarguably been a successful franchise since its inception, but they’ve also had their fair share of putrid years, and the Falcons have had their number at times. Just because the tide has turned a little doesn’t mean the Falcons are in danger of falling behind in all-time series.