The Falcons have enjoyed a lot of success against the Panthers over the last several years. In fact, they’ve taken 8 of their last 10 matchups. But this is 2020, and the Panthers are a better football team right now. Whether the Falcons can make tomorrow night’s game competitive remains to be seen, but the Panthers are playing for a chance to get back to .500, which means this game is far more important for them than it is for the 1-6 Falcons. The Panthers are also favored to win, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.
Let’s take a quick look at the state of the franchise before kickoff tomorrow night.
The Falcons are 1-1 since they made the not so difficult decision part ways with Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff. Raheem Morris has since adopted a hard nosed approach that’s ostensibly aimed at making the players uncomfortable. His revised approach to managing this team didn’t pay dividends last weekend, when the Falcons found a new and improved way to throw away a game in the 4th quarter. In Morris’ defense, he can only work with the personnel at his disposal, and there are legitimate questions about what the defensive players on this roster can accomplish, no matter who is coaching. Those issues will be address in earnest during the offseason, but we still have a lot of football to play in 2020.
On the offensive side of the ball, Dirk Koetter continues to do head-scratching things that defy logic and make you want to break your television set in half. The offense is missing opportunities to convert on 2nd and 3rd down, hampering their overall production. That said, Matt Ryan has somehow figured out how to be one of the more productive passers in the league this season. At present, he’s leading the league in passing yardage.
The Falcons are actually in a fairly good spot on the injury front. Only Takk McKinley didn’t practice on Tuesday. If you recall, Takk is still trying to bounce back from his groin injury, and he apparently re-aggravated the injury during the Lions game, so I wouldn’t count on him being available tomorrow night. Alex Mack (knee) and Kaleb McGary (elbow) were both limited participants in practice yesterday, as were Julio Jones (hip) and Russell Gage (knee). In short, it looks like the Falcons will be close to full strength for the divisional matchup ahead of them.
Your thoughts about the state of the franchise, Falcoholics?