Atlanta Falcons: Five toughest games in 2016
1. Panthers on the road
The Carolina Panthers won the NFC South and made it look easy last season, losing just one game all year. Where was that loss, by the way? And while their flaws were brilliantly exposed by the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, this Panthers team isn’t going away anytime soon.
Led by 2015 MVP Cam Newton, the Panthers went a perfect 10-0 at home including their two playoff wins. The Falcons’ visit to Bank of America Stadium ended with a crushing 38-0 defeat. The secondary was burned by Newton’s rocket arm and ability to run. The pass rush couldn’t get home and the Falcons’ offense stalled all afternoon.
On the road, the Falcons will face the daunting task of trying to beat the Panthers. Maybe Coach Quinn knows how to beat them after putting together an excellent gameplan in the return meeting of these two teams at the Georgia Dome in Week 16. He also played a part in sending the Panthers home in the divisional round a season earlier while with Seattle.
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The Falcons get to play the reigning NFC champions and Super Bowl runners up twice in 2016. Both games will be difficult, but the biggest challenge lying ahead is Atlanta’s next visit to Bank of America Stadium.