Chase Irle’s Prediction
The Falcons lost another heartbreaker on Sunday against the Lions, and at this point, I don’t know how they mentally keep it together and get ready for the Panthers on a short week. These two teams met less than three weeks ago in Atlanta, with Carolina coming away with a seven-point win. That loss resulted in the firings of Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff. Raheem Morris won’t get the ax after this one; he’s the man for the rest of the season, but if he wants to have any chance of retaining the job into 2021, he needs to find a way to get his guys ready and come away with a win. Unfortunately, I just think the Panthers are the more disciplined team, and they’ll be more prepared with a quick turnaround. The Falcons lose by double digits, and their season spirals even further downward.
Falcons 20, Panthers 31
Alex Lord’s Prediction
As always, I will compare the opposing position groups to deduce my thinking. Beginning in the trenches, the Atlanta offensive line has been a bright spot this season. Carolina’s defensive line is extremely talented but young and inexperienced. I would give the edge to the Atlanta offensive line. Now reversing roles, Russell Okung and John Miller both were listed on the injury report as not practicing. Two starters out would give the edge to the Atlanta defensive line, but if fully healthy, this is a push, no advantage.
Now comparing the skill positions of each team. The Falcons, like always, are going to boast one of the most dangerous receiving cores in the NFL. The Carolina defensive backs are extremely overmatched. Now flipping the script, the Carolina skill positions are talented at the top, with relatively no depth. However, the Atlanta safeties have been playing downright awful the past few weeks, so taking into consideration the scheme advantage of the Panthers, advantage Carolina.
Who knows what team is going to show up Thursday night, following a short week. Matt Ryan played poorly in the first matchup with Carolina; I believe he will have a redemption game and lead the Falcons to victory!
Falcons 31, Panthers 27
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
I really don’t see Atlanta making this turnaround on a short week and getting right mentally to beat Carolina. Atlanta has owned the Panthers, but they did us a favor by ending the Quinn era. It would be pretty on-brand for Atlanta to win this game. However, Takk McKinley is out and on the trading block. Christian McCaffrey may give it a go for Carolina, and Teddy Bridgewater is the king of covering the spread (-3 Carolina). Falcons lose again on National TV and get one step closer to a top-5 pick.
Falcons 22 Panthers 28