In Week 17 of the National Football League – the Carolina Panthers will take on the Atlanta Falcons in a battle of NFC South teams. The Carolina Panthers are already in the postseason with their 11-4 record, but are looking to win the division, and grab a home game in the first round of the postseason. Carolina has won their last three games overall and are coming off a win over the Buccaneers in Week 16.
The Atlanta Falcons have had pretty simple. The Falcons win – and they are in the postseason. Atlanta is 9-6 on the season, and 4-3 when playing at home. The Falcons are the defending NFC Champions, only to fall to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Atlanta Falcons are -3.5 over the Carolina Panthers in this game on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones know what is on the line in this game. Those are the two big offensive starts for the Falcons, and they have to connect early and often for the Falcons to have their best chance. The Falcons have seen those two hook up 82 times, but just 2 touchdowns on the season. Jones is 136 yards shy of 1,500 receiving on the season, while Ryan needs 222 to get to 4,000.
Devonta Freeman could play a large role in this game as well. The running back, despite missing time has 842 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. The Falcons are coming off a road loss at New Orleans, just two weeks after the Falcons beat the Saints at home. Atlanta finished in the Top 10 in both passing yards and rushing yards per game, with a combined 364.4.
Panthers Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders
The Carolina Panthers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Panthers have scored 353 points this season and allowed 305. While that difference is not great, the defense has been key. Carolina has won three games this season, where they allowed only a field goal in the game. The offense for the Panthers have heated up with 28 points per game in their last three.
Cam Newton has thrown for more than 3,100 yards and rushed for an additional 695. Newton leads the team with 6 touchdowns runs on the season. The Panthers finished the season as one of the top rushing teams in all of the National Football League. Carolina averaged 134.3 yards per game on the ground.
Falcons Hang on For Win
This is going to be a great National Football League game. It’s one of the few in Week 17 that means something. Atlanta must win, and the Panthers have a ton of reasons to win. Both teams do not want the major injuries, but the Falcons cannot protect against it. Carolina definitely can, and they will. In the end, the Falcons win this game on the strength of Ryan to Jones. The Panthers fall to the 5th seed, and Atlanta moves in as the 6th seed as the postseason starts in the NFL. Bet the Atlanta Falcons -3.5 over the Carolina Panthers.
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