In a Thursday Night Football clash, the Falcons will play in what will be a vital NFC South divisional game against the Carolina Panthers looking to get back to .500 and atop the division. Just 10 days ago, these two teams matched up in a Week 8 overtime thriller that came down to a Younghoe Koo game-winning field goal.
Since then, things have changed for both teams. The Panthers welcomed back quarterback Baker Mayfield in Week 9 against the Bengals after benching P.J. Walker in the first half due to offensive struggles. Mayfield fared in his return back throwing for 155 yards on 14/20 passing and two touchdowns. Yet, even with Walker's early struggles against the Bengals, he proved well against the Falcons in Week 8 passing for a career-high 317 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He was named the starter for Week 10. Sam Darnold was also activated to the 53-man roster on Monday so there's depth for the Panthers to work with at the quarterback position.
As for the Falcons, Running back Cordarrelle Patterson returned in Week 9 against the L.A. Chargers posting 13 carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns. The ground game as a unit rushed for 201 yards which was the third time this season the Falcons amassed over 200 rushing yards. Having Patterson back only makes this offense better.
On the defensive side, injuries still plague the Falcons secondary with A.J. Terrell, Casey Hayward, and Erik Harris all out. Considering their success through the air in Week 8, the Panthers passing attack will be something the Falcons look to limit in this matchup.
Let's take a look at who the experts have picked to win on Thursday:
|Author | Outlet||Pick|
|Safid Deen | USA Today||Falcons|
|Matt Bowen | ESPN||Falcons|
|Gregg Rosenthal | NFL.com||Falcons|
|Gary Davenport | Bleacher Report||Falcons|
|Greg Ivory | Bleacher Report||Falcons|
|Vinnie Iyer | Sporting News||Panthers|
|Dominique Foxworth | ESPN||Falcons|
|Maurice Moton | Bleacher Report||Falcons|
|Pete Prisco | CBS Sports||Falcons|
|Lorenzo Reyes | USA Today||Reyes|