It’s a short week, which means the body blows the Falcons delivered in their latest loss are still probably bruises on your psyche today, despite us being just two days away from the next game.
This one will come against the Carolina Panthers, representing the first Falcons divisional game of 2020. These games will be critical for Atlanta, which is on the cusp of being in a hole no team has ever gotten out of before, because they represent winnable games and will help the Falcons make up ground in the division. Obviously any talk about playoffs is ridiculous right now—I just wanna win a game!—but if Atlanta’s trying to justify not hitting the big reset button on the season it starts with winning right now against Carolina. Even then it’s a poor justification, but whatever.
The Panthers are a solid but unspectacular team trying to retool on the fly under a new coach, and they’re well-rounded and capable enough to beat Atlanta. At the same time, they’re the easiest challenge the Falcons have faced this year besides the Bears, and the Falcons had to work very hard to lose to them. It’s a winnable game, likely to be a close one, but we’ll see if Atlanta can overcome a lot of lousy play to this point to get it done.
Here’s what you’ll need to know to watch it.
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers, Week 5
When: Sunday, October 11, 1 p.m. EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Announcers: Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard, Jen Hale
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Key Questions: Will the Falcons get back anyone from their laundry list of defensive injuries, making this game easier? Can they break their streak of allowing tight ends and running backs to crush them against a quiet Ian Thomas and Mike Davis? Do we trust this team at all if they climb out a lead at home, which they seem likely to do?
Prediction: You’re not going to catch me picking the Falcons to win again until they do it at least once. Falcons 27 - Panthers 28
SB Nation Opposition Site: Cat Scratch Reader
2020 Falcons Schedule (0-4)
Week 1: Loss vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 2: Loss at Dallas Cowboys
Week 3: Loss vs. Chicago Bears
Week 4: Loss at Green Bay Packers
Week 5: vs. Carolina Panthers — Sunday, October 11, 1:00 p.m.
Week 6: at Minnesota Vikings — Sunday, October 18, 1:00 p.m.
Week 7: vs. Detroit Lions — Sunday, October 25, 1:00 p.m.
Week 8: at Carolina Panthers — Thursday Night Football, October 29, 8:25 p.m.
Week 9: vs. Denver Broncos — Sunday, November 8, 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: vs. New Orleans Saints — Sunday, November 22, 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: vs. Las Vegas Raiders — Sunday, November 29, 1:00 p.m.
Week 13: at New Orleans Saints — Sunday, December 6, 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: at Los Angeles Chargers — Sunday, December 13, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sunday, December 20, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs — Sunday, December 27, 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sunday, January 3, 1:00 p.m.