The Panthers’ most recent game saw them suffer a slim defeat to the Green Bay Packers. In the snow at Lambeau Field, Carolina had a chance to possibly tie the game on their final drive.
Sadly, with four seconds remaining, Christian McCaffrey was unable to punch the ball into the end zone from two yards out. As a result, Carolina lost the contest by the score of 24-16.
With the loss, the Panthers fell to 5-4 and their chances of making the playoffs took a hit. Nevertheless, they’ll look to get back into the win column against the Falcons.
As previously mentioned, Atlanta has had a disappointing campaign thus far with a 2-7 record. However, the Falcons were able to impose their will on the New Orleans Saints in Week 10 in one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Despite the Falcons’ success from last week, the Panthers should be able to come away with a win on Sunday. Here are four reasons why the Panthers will defeat the Falcons in Week 11.
4. No Austin Hooper or Devonta Freeman for the Falcons
With the Falcons already being underdogs, it makes it even more unlikely with the injuries they are dealing with. Ahead of Sunday’s game, Atlanta has already ruled out Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman in their offense.
Hooper has been a reliable weapon for Matt Ryan, contributing 56 receptions, 608 yards, and six touchdowns. In Hooper’s absence, either Jaeden Graham or Luke Stocker will start at tight end.
On the other hand, Freeman will also be on the sideline in street clothes on Sunday. While Freeman recovers from a foot injury, Brian Hill will become the featured running back in Atlanta. Provided that, Carolina should be able to have a better chance of containing Atlanta’s offense.
3. Kyle Allen will have success throwing the ball
The Falcons will undoubtedly deploy a defensive game plan on Sunday that attempts to contain McCaffrey in the Panthers’ backfield. In light of that, Kyle Allen should be able to pick apart a decimated secondary of the Falcons.
Through the first 10 weeks, Atlanta owns the 25th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, allowing 260.8 yards per game. Allen has thrown for 1,598 yards, 10 touchdowns, and five interceptions in his seven starts.
The Panthers will look to keep a balanced attack on offense, with Allen taking advantage of Atlanta’s downtrodden defense.
2. The Panthers’ pass rush will get after Matt Ryan
This year, Ron Rivera has assumed the role of calling the plays on defense for the Panthers. As a result, the defense has become fixated on getting after the quarterback with a lethal pass rush.
In the offseason, the team drafted standout edge rusher, Brian Burns, along with signing Bruce Irvin and Gerald McCoy. With a deep group of pass rushers, Carolina leads the NFL with 36 sacks.
Considering that, the front seven of the Panthers should make things uncomfortable for Ryan in the pocket.
1. Christian McCaffrey
To put things simply, the Panthers should win this game because of one single player. His name is Christian McCaffrey and there hasn’t been a defense in the NFL who has been able to slow him down.
McCaffrey has totaled 1,385 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns for the Panthers. With his staggering numbers, the dual-threat back is on pace to have a chance of surpassing Chris Johnson’s single-season record for yards from scrimmage.
The Falcons surrender 111 rushing yards per game (20th in the NFL) and have no one who can match up with McCaffrey. The versatile running back should continue adding to his MVP resume in Week 11 versus the Falcons.