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 with the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at the Georgia Dome. The Panthers defeated the Falcons 34-3. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Why to watch

It will be just 14 days since the Atlanta Falcons were humiliated by the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium when this one kicks off. The likelihood of a Falcons playoff berth is incredibly slim now, but what’s left is pride to finish the season strong.

This is a chance for the Falcons to right some wrongs. There’s been a number of mistakes, poor decisions and bad performances among the seven disappointing defeats suffered this season, six of which came in a row. But last week at Jacksonville in the final road game of the season, Atlanta showed some positive signs and played well enough to win.

The defense was able to limit a strong offense to just 17 points, and the offense got the job done. Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones found the end zone, which needs to happen more often. More than anything, there was a sense of relief that the Falcons finally put together a winning performance.

The Panthers are in red hot form. Their offense is among the league’s best, and they continue to put up points against all challengers. The Falcons defense will be tested, and the offense will need to find a way of moving the football against a dominant defense.

Will the Panthers improve to 15-0, or can the Falcons finally give their rivals a loss?

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