When the Falcons face off against the Panthers, in a must win contest. There will be a few match ups that ultimately will decide the fate of the game. Let’s take a look at three of them:-
- Falcons LB Stephen Nicholas vs Panthers QB Cam Newton – So far this season when the Falcons have faced mobile QB’s it has been the responsibility of Nicholas to spy the opposing QB and to prevent him from making a big run. Nicholas has had some success in this role this season, particularly against Mike Vick and the Eagles, when he in the spying role for most of the game. On Mike Vick’s second fumble in that game he did a good job of pushing Vick to the sidelines and into further Falcons tacklers. Nicholas will be tested again this week with Cam Newton and will likely be asked to play a similar spying role. This matchup favours Nicholas a bit better against Newton than it did against Vick, as Nicholas is more of a physical linebacker and has enough speed to keep up with Cam Newton.
- Falcons DE’s John Abraham and Ray Edwards vs Panthers T’s Jeff Otah and Jordan Gross - Getting pressure on the opposing QB has been a bit inconsistent for the Falcons so far this season. Most team officials expect John Abraham to be ready to go, so we will need both our starters to perform well and keep Cam Newton under pressure. At times this season, when he has been under pressure, he has cracked and turned the ball over.
- Falcons T Tyson Clabo vs Panthers DE Charles Johnson – The Falcons know all about Charles Johnson. They were major players for his signature during free agency. He is a talent and Tyson Clabo must be on his game. Clabo has struggled this season and has let Matt Ryan be pressured as well as giving up key penalties. I’ve been impressed by how Sam Baker has started to turn it around now Clabo must do the same.