Atlanta Falcons vs Panthers: Win and in game predictions

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 05: Justin Hardy (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 05: Justin Hardy (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Writer: Yuriy Andriyashchuk

Breakdown: The Falcons suffered a tough 23-13 loss in New Orleans last week in which Atlanta was at the hands of many questionable calls by the officials. The Falcons lost an opportunity to win the NFC South but have a chance to clinch a wildcard berth this week against their division rival Panthers.

The Falcons were at the hands of a close 20-17 loss in Charlotte earlier this season. A major setback in that game was a dropped pass in the end zone by Julio Jones. Luckily for Julio, he had 300 receiving yards the last time the Falcons played the Panthers in Atlanta last season.

The Falcons have been extremely inconsistent on offense in 2017 and you just don’t know what you’re going to get. I don’t expect the offense to have a breakout game in Week 17 but I think Atlanta’s defense will come through in the clutch to contain Cam Newton. Devonta Freeman may very well be the x-factor in this game for the offense if he cleans up his fumbling issues. Had he not fumbled twice on the goal line in New Orleans, the outcome may have been different.

I expect a hard-fought game in a serious divisional rivalry game but losing at home in a playoff-clinching game is something that won’t happen to the Falcons on Sunday. How far they will go in the postseason is all a mystery to us but revenge against the Panthers will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a very close game.

Prediction: Atlanta 20, Carolina 17