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What you need to know to watch Falcons vs. Panthers in Week 9

It’s the latest the Falcons have ever squared off for the first time against a divisional opponent, and it’s a key game.

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If the Jets game was important for the Falcons because it represented the chance to end a slide and stave off questions about the team’s competency, this upcoming tilt against the Carolina Panthers is critically important because of its NFC South implications. A win here puts the Falcons at 5-3, the Panthers are 5-4, and gets Atlanta into second place in the division.

It could happen! The Panthers are a good football team, but their points scored total for the season goes 23, 9, 13, 33, 27, 23, 3, 17. They have an offense that’s exceedingly vanilla and lacking in creativity, despite just spending a top ten pick on a playmaking running back/receiver, and that means their defense has to be good to win. If Atlanta can get it together on both sides of the ball, as they sort of did against the Jets, they have a good shot in this one.

Of course, it is also a road game, Cam Newton is still a lethal player, and the defense is legitimately terrific. I’m not going in with huge expectations.

Here’s what you’ll need to know to watch the game Sunday.

Falcons vs. Panthers key info

When: Sunday, November 5, 1 p.m. EST

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Channel: FOX

SB Nation Team Site: Cat Scratch Reader