Scouting the Falcons vs Panthers matchup with Cat Crave

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24: Tevin Coleman
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24: Tevin Coleman /

Atlanta Falcons will take on the Carolina Panthers this weekend. We sent some questions over to our friends at FanSided’s Cat Crave ahead of Sunday’s game.

Week 9 in the NFL will feature a matchup between division rivals Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.

Set to take place in Charlotte, the Falcons will look to add to their current one game win streak and increase their season record to 5-3.

Prior to Sunday’s game, we had the opportunity to ask the fine folks over at Cat Crave some questions regarding the Falcons and Panthers Week 9 showdown.

Cat Crave covers all things Carolina Panthers for FanSided, of which Blogging Dirty is also a part.

Here is a transcript of our conversation with Cat Crave…

"Blogging Dirty: With former Panthers star wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin now playing for the Buffalo Bills and tight end Greg Olsen not being able to play this Sunday, which Panthers offensive player or players do you believe will carry the load against the Falcons?"

"Cat Crave: During the offseason it appeared the Panthers were making necessary moves to surround quarterback Cam Newton with legitimate offensive weapons. However, with the change in management, injuries and recent Benjamin trade the onus is falling squarely on the surgically repaired shoulders of Newton. If Carolina is going to win on Sunday he must coordinate sustained offensive drives resulting in touchdowns and cannot settle for field goals. The Panthers defense is good enough to keep Newton and the offense in the game but if the offense continues to sputter Carolina could be in for a long afternoon."

"Blogging Dirty: Do you believe the Panthers trading Benjamin is indicative of their plans to succeed now and/or a transaction that will build towards the future?"

"Cat Crave: Both really. While Benjamin’s services would have been appreciated given the current state of the offense, his skill set was too similar with Devin Funchess and both on the field left zero concern for any legitimate deep threat. By moving Benjamin now, the Panthers received two 2018 draft picks which should conceivably return more than a comp pick if he walked. The short-term effect should allow speedy receivers Curtis Samuel, Russell Shepard and Damiere Byrd an opportunity to flourish."

"Blogging Dirty: What are your thoughts on Carolina’s first round pick rookie running back Christian McCaffrey thus far?"

"Blogging Dirty: Carolina has won three out of the last four divisional titles. Currently, which NFC South team are you most concerned about challenging the Panthers to a divisional title this season?"

"Cat Crave: Despite dropping three in a row, Atlanta opened the year picking right up where they left off last season. New Orleans has impressed by getting some defensive production to counter their high powered offense but until the Falcons are dethroned they remain the team to beat in the division."

"Blogging Dirty: Which player matchup are you looking forward to seeing most this Sunday?"

"Cat Crave: Second-year cornerback James Bradberry against all-everything wide receiver Julio Jones. Bradberry has significantly improved his play from last season and Jones gives him an opportunity to go against one of the best in the game."

"Blogging Dirty: What is your final score prediction?"

"Cat Crave: As with any divisional rival, expect a close game with a potential turnover or special teams play making the difference. In the end, Carolina’s defense is playing at a high level and if the Panthers can generate the slightest bit of offense, they should be able to win at home. Carolina Panthers – 20, Atlanta Falcons – 16"

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Thank you to our friends over at Cat Crave. This weekend’s matchup between the Falcons and the Panthers should be a good one.