In Week 8, the Falcons take on the Carolina Panthers in their second and final primetime matchup of the 2020 season. This is also their second game against Carolina, playing them both times before facing either of their other NFC South foes. The Panthers are expected to have a down year after bringing in a new QB and head coach. However, Thursday Night Football always comes with a bit of the unexpected, and this matchup takes place away from home.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
Like most NFL fanatics, I’m torn on the idea of Thursday Night Football. On the one hand, it gives us an extra day of football, which is never bad. No matter where I am on Thursday night, my eyes are typically peeled to a screen broadcasting the NFL. On the other hand, the games are usually much worse, and the risk for injury is much higher. However, since there’s money involved, Thursday Night Football isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
When it comes to the Falcons, they don’t have a choice but to be laser-focused for their last matchup with the Panthers. If they want to make the playoffs, they have to take advantage of Carolina — undoubtedly the weakest team in their division. I currently have the Falcons at 4-3 — not too bad — but their schedule ramps up significantly in the second half of the year. I don’t see any way they sneak in the playoffs if they drop this game. So if they come out with that sense of urgency, they should have no problem walking out 2-0 against the Panthers. However, that hasn’t always been the case in the Dan Quinn era. I’m predicting the Falcons pull this one out, but it will be much closer than it should be.
Falcons 30, Panthers 27
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
Atlanta is again on short rest, but thankfully it’s against a much weaker opponent in Carolina. With Kansas City and two dates with Tom Brady and Drew Brees each looming, this is a must-win game. Thankfully, one thing Dan Quinn HAS done right is feast on Carolina. Falcons win big again, and Julio Jones goes for 250 yards
Falcons 38, Panthers 20