Around the same time the Falcons started to improve that run defense, over in Carolina, Cam Newton was bringing back the running dynamic in his dangerous game as a mobile quarterback. In the last two weeks, he's lead the team in rushing yards in both games and in Week 11, he had 40 of the team's 97 yards. It's no secret that Newton can and will run from under center and this season he's carrying the Panthers' running game, leading the team with 594 yards on the ground.
Earlier this week he said he didn't see why they couldn't repeat their performance on the ground from earlier this season against the Falcons. In Week 4, Newton and the Panthers churned out 199 yards on the ground, losing by the slimmest of margins, 30-28.
Any way you look at it, Newton's dangerous with the ball in his hands and the Falcons know that. Defending him against the run and the pass is of equal importance and it's a little different for a defense to defend a quarterback leading the team in rushing than a running back.
"We have our work cut out for us," safety
The familiarity with the Panthers and Newton helps the Falcons out and they expect him to run the ball and possibly continue to lead the team's single-game rushing efforts.
DeCoud expects a plan centered on anticipating and stopping Newton beating them with his legs.
"A more simple game plan (is what we'll use) and be really in tune with certain down-and-distance keys that can tip off what they're going to try to do," the safety said.