This preview of the Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons game will have a Carolina slant of course. If you want to read up a little on the Falcons click this link to see the “Birds I View” blog by Brent Holloway.
I am happy to write this preview of the Carolina Panthers at the Atlanta Falcons because I smell an upset! Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are tired of losing and are ready to take it out on somebody.
As you can see here the Falcons are very banged up with rookie wideout Julio Jones missing the Carolina game being the biggest blow to Atlanta. Click here to see the Panthers injury report. Charles “Big Money” Johnson and Jeff Otah are the injured Panthers of note but both are expected to play,
For the Carolina Panthers to beat the Atlanta Falcons then Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner must be slowed down. The Panthers have struggled containing tight ends and at stopping the run. Neither Turner nor Gonzalez are the players they were even two years ago but both can be dangerous.
Matt Ryan is usually money at home but the Falcons have struggled to protect him, giving up 14 sacks in 2011. Combine that with the fact that the Falcons defense is average at best, I think Carolina can win this game.
The Panthers and Cam Newton must score early and make Atlanta throw the ball. Now I know making Matt Ryan throw to Roddy White and Gonzalez may sound foolish. I feel the Panthers can pressure Ryan and I know they don’t want to try to stop Turner if the Falcons decide to run all day.
If the Panthers can get the lead then Charles Johnson can tee off on Matt Ryan and apply pressure. Johnson is a Georgia native and nearly signed with Atlanta before Carolina signed him to a big contract.
Cam Newton is not the turnover machine most rookie quarterbacks are but he and the team need better play in the Red Zone. Carolina must avoid the penalties they have been getting in order to upset the Falcons.
Legedu Naanee needs to have a big game if he wants to keep his starting job. Naanee has been under fire all week for diving to the ground to avoid contact after a catch. David LaFell is having a nice season and I feel he will be starting soon, opposite of Steve Smith