Falcons Vs. Panthers: Preview

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The Falcons (4-3) are coming off of a much needed win. A road win. In the elements.. braving the cold rain, wet balls and slippery field conditions. So far this season- Atlanta has yet to play an NFC South opponent. The Carolina Panthers (5-3) will be the first NFC South foe to test the Atlanta Falcons in the 2017 season.

In the last meeting between The Falcons and The Panthers…Matt Ryan shredded Carolina’s defense, passing for a team-record 503 yards and four touchdowns, Julio Jones had 12 receptions for a Falcons-record 300 yards, and Atlanta overwhelmed the Panthers 48-33. Cam Newton ultimately left the game in the 4th quarter suffering from a concussion after taking a hit from linebacker Deion Jones.

This game is one of importance for both teams as it will help to determine who will be the front runner of the NFC South for the division. Carolina is coming off of an emotional week with the news coming down on the Kelvin Benjamin trade to The Buffalo Bills. Cam Newton and the Panthers are looking to remain relevant in the NFC South as they are currently second in the division and ultimately to control their destiny for postseason play.

After dropping three losses in a row, and then winning a “must win” game on the road last week against The Jets amid terrible weather conditions… The Falcons look to pick up steam, continue the momentum and remain kings of NFC South and The NFC overall.

Key Match-ups:

WR Julio Jones vs. CB James Bradberry-
Cornerback Bradberry left the game early in the first meeting last year due to injury. Julio Jones had a record breaking 300 yards. In the second meeting of the season, Bradberry limited Jones to 60 yards on four receptions. They’ll line up against each other again this week.

Defense-
The Panthers and Falcons are both undefeated in games when they’ve won the turnover battle. At the midway point, Carolina ranks second in total defense and fifth in yards per play and points per game allowed.

QB Play-
Two great Quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. Cam Newton has thrown for 17 touchdowns while running for six more in 12 career meetings with the Falcons. Meanwhile Matt Ryan has won his last three starts against the Panthers, completing 78 of 100 passes for 1,086 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception for a 131.1 passer rating.

As with all divisional games…this will be a great matchup and game!