The return of the statistical projection is here after I took a week off against the Jets, a game I didn’t even want to try to predict after A) the Patriots debacle and B) seeing the weather forecast. For a road game against the Panthers, though? Let’s do it, even if you’re not going to like what I have here.
In a nutshell, I have the Falcons outplaying the Panthers for much of the day, but I also think the Falcons will have a turnover or two the Panthers will capitalize on. In what should be a tight game against a relentless defense, and the always dangerous if frequently unpredictable Cam Newton, the Falcons may lose this one. Not even Panthers fans are feeling all that confident about the outcome here, but I’m wary of a road game against a Panthers team that might have a few surprises after trading away Kelvin Benjamin. If the Panthers offense looks abysmal again and the Falcons show they can keep Matt Ryan safe, maybe this one becomes one of those hilarious, lopsided blowouts the Falcons have occasionally managed to hang on Carolina in recent years. I’m hopeful but not expecting it.
You’ll notice I have the Falcons losing very narrowly, in what I believe is the first predicted loss I’ve had this season for the Falcons, who are currently 4-3. Hopefully my typically powerful reverse jinx works well here, but I truly do believe Carolina will keep it close and may win. I’m sorry to even speak it, and I welcome your predictions to the contrary.
Offense: 23 points, 340 yards
Matt Ryan: 17/24, 230 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 scramble, 10 yards
Devonta Freeman: 15 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 15 yards
Tevin Coleman: 10 carries, 50 yards, 1 reception, 30 yards
Julio Jones: 4 receptions, 70 yards
Mohamed Sanu: 6 receptions, 50 yards
Austin Hooper: 1 reception, 10 yards, 1 TD
Justin Hardy: 2 receptions, 25 yards
Taylor Gabriel: 1 reception, 20 yards
Levine Toilolo: 1 reception, 10 yards
Defense: 24 points, 290 yards
Grady Jarrett: 1 sack
Vic Beasley: 1 sack
Deion Jones: 1 sack
Robert Alford: 1 interception
Matt Bryant: 3/4 FG, 2/2 XP
Matt Bosher: 3 punts, 45 yards per punt
Andre Roberts: 3 kickoff returns, 50 yards, 3 punt returns, 30 yards