The Atlanta Falcons locked up the NFC South last week, but there’s some bad blood brewing between them and the Carolina Panthers.
At least, from the Panthers’ end.
The Falcons won the last match-up in Week 4 by a score of 30-28 after Matt Bryant nailed a 40-yard field goal with 54 seconds left in the game.
Atlanta was pinned on the one yard line with 59 seconds remaining in the game. Ryan dropped back deep in his own end zone, and found Roddy White 59 yards down the field to set up the game-winning drive.
Afterwards, Ryan yelled, “Get the (expletive) off our field!”
The Panthers evidently didn’t take kindly to that and defensive end Greg Hardy has been outspoken about it, claiming the 3-9 Panthers are a better team than the 11-1 Falcons, among other things.
Let’s be honest: this game is between a really good team and a really bad team.
Since Ryan entered the league in 2008, he’s had plenty of success versus Carolina. He’s posted a 7-2 record and has passed for 2,176 yards, 15 touchdowns, and five interceptions.
On the other side, Cam Newton has failed to beat Atlanta in three tries. In those three games, Newton has passed for 728 yards on 55 of 98 passing, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. He’s also rushed 23 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
Although the Falcons have the division crown, they still need to win in order to lock up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Thus, there’s no way Atlanta overlooks Carolina.
Furthermore, the Falcons’ success on the road this season could spell additional trouble for the Panthers.
Ryan has been in a mini-slump the past few weeks, but Carolina seems like the perfect opponent to right the ship again.
The Falcons are just 3.5-point favorites, but I think they take this game easily.
Points Scored: 26.4 (7th)
Total Offense: 377.3 (9th)
Passing Offense: 286.1 (4th)
Rushing Offense: 91.2 (28th)
Points Allowed: 19.1 (5th)
Total Defense: 352.5 (18th)
Passing Defense: 231.2 (15th)
Rushing Defense: 121.3 (20th)
Points Scored: 19.6 (23rd)
Total Offense: 343.6 (18th)
Passing Offense: 230.8 (16th)
Rushing Offense: 112.8 (16th)
Points Allowed: 24.3 (20th)
Total Defense: 347.8 (16th)
Passing Defense: 218.9 (8th)
Rushing Defense: 128.8 (25th)