Predicting the outcome of Falcons games is never easy, per se, but there are certainly games where Atlanta is either clearly the better team in better circumstances, or the inferior team ticketed for destruction. The Falcons against, say, the Titans would be an example of the former, while the upcoming matchup against the Broncos is the latter.
The Panthers, though? That’s a tough one. Carolina is somewhat surprisingly 1-2 after a couple of ugly, hard-fought losses, and it’s very obvious that they’re not as effective with a young, patchwork secondary and an offensive line that turned back into a pumpkin before turning back into an even lesser gourd. Whether they’re still a great team is up for debate, but I do tend to think we ought to not rush to dismiss a team that got handled by the Broncos and Vikings, given the strength of those respective defenses.
Considering this game is in the Georgia Dome, Atlanta’s offense is red hot, and the Panthers will likely be without Jonathan Stewart, this is a winnable game, and I wouldn’t blame you if you wound up predicting that outcome. I fear, though, that Carolina will be able to get more pressure on Matt Ryan, force a big mistake or two from the offense, and ride Cam Newton’s arm and legs to a victory in this one. I would love to be wrong, but that’s what my gut says.
I’ll go Panthers 30, Falcons 24 in this one. How about you?