Week 5 Preview: Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Carolina Panthers travel to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon to face the Atlanta Falcons in a divisional matchup. The Falcons lead the all-time series 32-18 and have won eight of the last nine games between the two teams. The Falcons, however, come into Week 5 winless after losing to Green Bay 30-16, while Carolina is 2-2 on the season following their 31-21 victory in Week 4. Atlanta is hungry for their first win of the season while the Panthers are looking to win their third game in a row this week.

Carolina Panthers

Offense

Teddy Bridgewater seems to have found his groove with Carolina. In last week’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Bridgewater threw for 276 yards, two passing touchdowns, and an interception for a 98.5 rating. Bridgewater also posted a rushing touchdown in that game, his first since 2015.

Mike Davis is proving to be a valuable asset to the team while Christian McCaffrey is out injured. He posted an impressive game in Week 4, recording five receptions for 111 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown. Davis is only one of three running backs with 20 or more receptions this season (Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara).

Robby Anderson posted eight catches for 99 yards against the Cardinals and in five career games against an NFC South opponent, he recorded 30 receptions for 484 yards and four passing touchdowns. Reggie Bonnafon and Ian Thomas also recorded receiving touchdowns last week.

Defense

The Panthers’ defensive line has been solid the last couple of weeks. Shaq Thompson posted two tackles for loss last week against the Cardinals. Tre Boston had a fumble recovery in Week 4 and has recorded four pass deflections in the last four games against Atlanta.

Donte Jackson has recorded a pass deflection in his last two games on the road against a divisional opponent and is going for his third road game with at least one interception. Brian Burns has posted four tackles for loss in his last four games against a divisional opponent and is aiming to put more on the books.

The rookies have shown great promise so far this season. Derrick Brown leads all rookies with five tackles for loss on the season. Rookie defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos recorded his first career sack last week, and Jeremy Chinn leads all rookies with 34 tackles.

Atlanta Falcons

Offense

Matt Ryan posted 28 of 39 completions for 285 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Week 4. In the last meeting between the two teams, he recorded 313 pass yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 109.1 rating. He is aiming for a 100+ rating in his fifth consecutive game against Carolina.

Todd Gurley recorded two rushing touchdowns against Green Bay and leads the NFL with 20 games of two or more touchdowns. He is going for his third game in a row at home with a rushing touchdown. He has a total of nine touchdowns in 11 career games against an NFC South opponent.

Olamide Zaccheaus led the team last week with his career-high eight receptions for 86 yards and posted a 93-yard touchdown catch in the last meeting. Julio Jones is questionable on the injury report as of Friday evening.

Defense

Charles Harris will be playing for his third game in a row with at least one sack and was the only Atlanta player to post a sack late week. Deion Jones and Foyesade Oluokun both led the team with eight tackles last week. Jones has recorded eight or more tackles in five of his last six games against Carolina.

Dante Fowler posted two sacks in his only game against Carolina, when he was with the Los Angeles Rams. He has five sacks and eight tackles for loss in his five career games against an NFC opponent. Grady Jarrett has four tackles for loss in his last three games at home and Takkarist McKinley posted two sacks in the last meeting.

The Falcons need their defensive line to step up and produce sacks, pass deflections, and tackles if they hope to overtake the Carolina offense.

Game Info

Date: October 11, 2020

Time: 1:00 P.M. est

Location: Atlanta, GA

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

TV Info: Fox

Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Point Spread: CAR +1 (-110) | ATL -1 (-110)

Moneyline: CAR +100 | ATL -130

Over/Under: O 54 (-110) | U 54 (-110)

This game is difficult to predict because neither team has been consistent with their scoring to project how they’re going to do this week. The Panthers will be able to stop the Falcons’ offense from reaching the end zone, but the question is: will the Falcons make it at least two, if not three times? The under is the safe bet this week due to the uncertainty of the Falcons’ offensive line.

Prediction

This game has the potential to be an exciting game full of action on both sides of the field, but it also has the potential to be lopsided with only one team scoring. The Panthers are not only trying to keep their winning streak alive, but they are also looking to better their standings in the NFC South and will come out strong on both sides of the ball. Bridgewater and his offensive line will not have any problems producing points and their defense should keep a weak Atlanta offense at bay.

Final Score: Carolina Panthers, 31 – Atlanta Falcons, 21


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Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images

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