The Atlanta Falcons look to extend their good run of form against the Carolina Panthers, whom they have beaten in three of the past four meetings overall and against whom they own an all time record of 36-21.
While Atlanta is one game below .500 against the Bucs and one game above .500 against the Saints, the Panthers are the division rival whom they have routinely beaten up on.
The 63.2% winning percentage is the third-highest among all teams head-to-head for the Falcons, and the highest among all NFC teams. The 36 total wins is the second most for the Birds against any one opponent, second only to the 55 they have against the Saints, whom they have 30 years worth of games more. And the 15 games above .500 is by far the highest mark Atlanta has against any other team head to head.
The Panthers have three wins against Atlanta since 2017, but if they win this game it will be three consecutive years of not suffering a sweep at the hands of the Falcons, something they have not achieved since 2013-2015.
Speaking of sweeps, that’s maybe the one stat which really demonstrates Atlanta’s dominance in this head to head matchup outside of the overall record itself — despite playing twice a year every season since the Panthers’ inception in 1995, Carolina has only swept the Falcons three times (1997, 2005, 2013) while the Falcons have swept them 10 times with a chance to make it 11 this coming Sunday.
The Falcons and Panthers met on this season’s opening weekend, both with aspirations of competing for a division title in a very weak and vulnerable NFC South, and each looking to get off on the right foot with an immediate divisional win.
The Falcons threw the first punch after a scoreless first quarter, on the first play of the second quarter, when Desmond Ridder threw a screen pass to debutant Bijan Robinson. He was caught dead to right but made an immaculate cut to make the defender miss before running 11 yards into the end zone. Carolina responded later in the quarter behind rookie Bryce Young’s first ever touchdown pass, which went to former Falcon Hayden Hurst, as both teams went into the break tied at 7-7.
After swapping field goals in the third quarter, Atlanta stepped on the gas in the final period, scoring two Tyler Allgeier rushing touchdowns as the defense clamped down and didn’t even allow Carolina into Falcon territory until garbage time.
The Falcons’ star free agent signing Jessie Bates made the immediate difference, forcing three turnovers in this game (two interceptions, one forced fumble), which Atlanta scored 17 points off of.