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Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Friday, Nov. 15

From Russell Gage to the defense’s chances on Sunday, we’ve got what you need to get through the morning.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

We’re a couple of days away from the next Falcons game, and I legitimately have no idea what to expect. If the Falcons turn back into a pumpkin and get blown off the field, I won’t be shocked. If they continue to play tough and grind out a win over a game Carolina team, I’ll be even less shocked. We’re just going to see what happens.

While you wait, here are some links.

The Falcons don’t stack up well against this Panthers offense

By now, you know I’m not all that impressed by the Carolina offense, but the truth is they have several very good players and could easily turn this game into a firefight. As David Walker writes, the Panthers have the advantage on this Falcons defense both in the trenches and through the air, and when you have Christian McCaffrey that might be something of a problem.

Kevin Knight’s weekly statistical breakdown of the teams reveals that while the Panthers are far from a great football team, they have a pretty big edge defensively and are good enough offensively to challenge this defense unless they can turn them into the Week 10 Saints. Just a ton of positives here.

Russell Gage’s time to shine

There may never be a better opportunity for Russell Gage than this game. He’s taken over the third receiver gig with Mohamed Sanu in New England, and with deeply unfortunate injuries to Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman almost certainly keeping both out Sunday, Gage is the third option in this passing game for the first time all year.

That doesn’t guarantee a breakout game, but I like his chances.

Flash in the pan or gold vein?

The Falcons pulling out that huge, confident win against New Orleans will be the best moment of this season regardless of what happens the rest of the way. The big question is whether there was anything to that more than a dig deep, fluky performance.

Cory Woodroof asked that very question yesterday and came to the conclusion that while it’s perfectly feasible that Atlanta has another performance or two like that, given their talent and the thoroughness of the thumping, it’d probably be unwise to bet on it before we see more. Two games can make a trend, after all, but as was the case with the Eagles game earlier in the year, one can’t tell you enough.

It’s time for picks

We’ve all fared reasonably well in picks, probably because we’re all brilliant and also are just picking wins/losses on the year. Will this week bring more Falcoholic goodness or lead to our doom?

I don’t know the answer to that, but only a handful of us picked the Browns, so we got that going for us.