It is sort of startling that the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are not playing for the division this Sunday, or fighting for one playoff spot, or anything like that. Instead, the Saints have a good chance of locking up the NFC South Sunday, the Panthers are locked in as a #3 or #4 seed, and the Falcons are fighting just to make the postseason. Things have not quite gone as planned, it would be fair to say.
Even so, Atlanta has a shot to make the playoffs here, which is more than many Super Bowl-losing teams can say the next year. A win over Carolina would give Atlanta a much-needed confidence boost, a chance to brush away all their mistakes to this point and make a deep playoff run, and enjoy another winning season against their NFC South rivals. All key items, here.
In case you haven’t kept up with the NFL switching this game to what passes for primetime on New Year’s Eve, here’s the essentials for Sunday’s game.
Falcons - Panthers Week 17 info
When: Sunday, December 31, 4:25 p.m. EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Key Questions: Will Carolina follow through on Ron Rivera’s promise and play their starters the entire game, even if the Panthers can’t improve their seeding? Will the Falcons have a fully healthy offensive line for this game? Will Julio Jones torch this team a little bit, a lotta bit, or all the bits?