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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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Writer: Hasaan Khan

Breakdown: After a rocky and questionable 4-4 start, the Falcons have won five of their last seven games. That in itself is hard to do for any NFL team. There has been criticism directed towards the offense and how it is nothing like what we saw last season. That is true, but the Falcons are very capable of driving downfield into scoring range.

In the second half of the season, the Falcons have eclipsed 300+ yards of total offense in games against the Jets, Saints, the Buccaneers twice, and their opponent this Sunday, the Panthers. Moving downfield will be crucial this weekend against Carolina, who is dealing with an iffy secondary. While the run defense of the Panthers is stout, the secondary has allowed 265+ yards passing to six of the last seven quarterbacks they have faced, including a 313 yard performance from Matt Ryan in Week 9.

If it weren’t for costly turnovers and head-scratching 4th down calls in the redzone, the Falcons could very well already have a Wild Card spot clinched. So what are the keys to clinch a postseason berth in this Sunday’s game? Be careful with the ball in scoring range. Not only that, but take the three points from a field goal instead of going for it on 4th down.

Next: Even with a loss, Falcons can back into playoffs

Carolina will play with everything they have, as they technically can still get a first round bye in the playoffs (would need a lot of help, though). Even so, the Falcons passing game will be the difference maker in this contest.

Prediction: Atlanta 27, Carolina 19