Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers: Full game preview

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Dec 28, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs against Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Who to watch

Julio Jones

Jones gives the Falcons the best chance of winning this game. If they can get the ball in his hands and he has a big day, the Falcons have a shot. If Jones is bottled up by Josh Norman, the offense is going to struggle to put up points.

Atlanta needs to be able to establish the run, sure, but when Matt Ryan drops back to throw, he’s going to need to be able to count on his big-time receiver to make some key plays. Jones has struggled against Carolina in the past. He was held under 60 yards in both meetings last season.

Paul Worrilow

Worrilow has been a solid run-stopper this season, but his coverage skills have been lacking too often. He may find himself covering Greg Olsen at times in this game, or even chasing down a mobile Cam Newton. He will need to step up and have a good game when called upon.

Tevin Coleman

Tevin Coleman, really? Coleman hasn’t seen a whole lot of the field of late, and trust in him has certainly decreased with his fumbles.

But Coleman can be the change of pace Atlanta needs to spark the offense into life. By using the rookie on occasion in the backfield and in the short passing game, his speed could cause the Panthers some problems.