The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons will restoke their NFC South rivalry in Week 8. Their game from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. will kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. The game will air on Fox.
Who is playing?
The Panthers (2-5) traded the face of their franchise, running back Christian McCaffrey, last week in the middle of a woebegone season. Then they went out and embarrassed Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, 21-3 Running backs Chuba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman filled the void with 218 yards from scrimmage on 28 touches. Despite their dreary record, the Panthers are only a game out of first place in the NFC South.
The Atlanta Falcons (3-4) are tied for first in the division and are looking to rebound from a Week 7 blowout at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Falcons trailed 21-0 after the first play of the second quarter and ultimately lost 35-17. Despite the large deficits all day long, quarterback Marcus Mariota attempted only 13 passes. The Falcons were outgained 537-214.
What are playoff picture/draft order implications?
Although each team could compete for an NFC South title, it’s far more likely that they end up inside the top 10 in the 2023 NFL Draft. Right now, the Falcons would hold the No. 10 pick while the Panthers would pick third. But following the McCaffrey trade, it’s clear that Carolina has its sights set on being on the clock at No. 1.
Game pick — Falcons to win
This feels like a game that will hinge solely on turnovers. Whichever middling offense makes fewer gaffes will win this game. Give the edge to the Falcons at home with their extremely conservative attack.
Panthers vs. Falcons odds and predictions
Point spread: Falcons -4
Total: 42 (over priced at -110, under priced at -110)
Moneyline: Falcons -210, Panthers +180
Betting splits: Info on spread splits from https://www.vsin.com/betting-resources/daily-betting-insights-for-mlb-nba-nhl/ (add this Saturday night)
Panthers vs. Falcons statistics
Points per game: 17.7, 26th
Passing yards per game: 169.7, 28th
Rushing yards per game: 102.1, 23rd
Points allowed per game: 21.3, 17th
Passing yards allowed per game: 231.0, 19th
Rushing yards allowed per game: 120.9, 21st
Points per game: 23.3, 12th
Passing yards per game: 151.7, 31st
Rushing yards per game: 156.9, 4th
Points allowed per game: 24.4, 24th
Passing yards allowed per game: 306.6, 32nd
Rushing yards allowed per game: 100.3, 5th
Panthers vs. Falcons injury report
Out: RB Chuba Hubbard (ankle)
Questionable: XS Juston Burris (hip), DE Marquis Haynes (illness), CB Jaycee Horn (ribs), LB Frankie Luvu (shoulder)
Out: S Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion), CB A.J. Terrell (hamstring)
Questionable: CB Dee Alford (hamstring)