Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers – NFL Week 8 Game Preview

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"Carolina Panthers FanFest" by James Willamor is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Atlanta Falcons are set to travel to Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers in a week eight divisional matchup. The Falcons come into the game with a record of 3-4. During their bye week, there was some shaking up in the divisional standings and the Falcons came out of week seven with the first place spot in their division despite not taking the field. On the flip side, the Panthers are coming into the game with a record of 2-5 and are tied for last in the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints. However, with the NFC South being by far the worst division in football this season, there is still a chance for Carolina to make it to the postseason. 

Atlanta Falcons Look to Hold Onto Their First Place Spot In the NFC South

Last week was a great one for the Atlanta Falcons. They did not even have to play and they still wound up taking the first place spot in their division. Coming into the year, many thought that the Falcons would be one of the worst teams in the NFL after they announced Marcus Mariota as their starting quarterback to open the season. Despite this, Mariota has been a great fit in Atlanta and the offense has surprised the entire league. This week, they find themselves in a very winnable game against a shell of the Carolina Panthers roster that came into the year. 

If they are able to take care of business against the Panthers, they will be able to hold off Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from another trip to the playoffs. The key to the game for Atlanta is for their offense to come out of the gates hot. Carolina’s defense has been the deciding factor in the games that they have won this season. 

Carolina Panthers Hope to Stay Afloat Despite Missing Essential Weapons

As previously mentioned, the NFC South is the worst division in the NFL this season, and with all four teams off to such poor starts, it is still anyone’s race to win. The Panthers have done their best to embrace the tank this season. They traded talented wide receiver Robby Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals, and Christian McCafferty who is arguably the best running back in football to the San Francisco 49ers. Despite these two moves coming in the course of a week, the team was still able to band together and take down the Buccaneers by a final score of 21-3. 

There is not much to the Panthers’ offense anymore after trades and injuries, however, they have some very talented pieces on defense that have kept them possibly in contention for the postseason. This matchup against the Falcons will be another tough but winnable one for the Panthers. They have the chance to prove that they are still a more than capable team without what was thought to be some of their most important players coming into the season.