Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers (11/10/2022 – 8:15 pm EDT)
Line: Atlanta -3
Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers Overview
NFL Week 10 begins with a heated NFC South rivalry as the Atlanta Falcons travel north to Bank of America Stadium where they’ll take on the Carolina Panthers in a Thursday Night Football matchup. The Falcons come into the matchup off a close 20-17 home loss to the Los Angeles Charges while the Panthers were clobbered in Cincinnati 42-21 by the Bengals.
Atlanta Falcons Analysis
Although their record may not indicate it at 4-5, Atlanta was not even supposed to be doing this good by midseason as they were picked to be one of the worst teams in the league by several preseason NFL rankings. After nine games played, however, the Falcons are only a game below .500 and, more importantly, tied for first place in the NFC South with Tampa Bay. While they couldn’t hold on against the Chargers last Sunday, they haven’t lost two in a row since losing their first two games of the season. Atlanta has gone 6-3 against the spread and 5-4 versus the over/under.
With a young team trying to compete in the NFL, the Falcons were expected to need another year or two to compete but they look like they’re ahead of schedule already. Two of their four wins so far came against teams with winning records in the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. while the Falcons are around the middle of the pack offensively as a team, their defense needs a lot of work as they’re giving up 300 yards passing a game, worst in the NFL, and their 406.9 yards allowed is second-to-last in the league.
Atlanta’s offense has had its struggles this year but the running game has been one of the best in the NFL with a 162.9 yards a game, fourth-best overall. That comes from a four-headed attack with quarterback Marcus Mariota playing a viable part of it. The Falcons’ starting QB had 304 yards on the ground along with three TDs to go with 1,513 yards passing and another 10 scores. Tyler Allgeier leads all Atlanta running backs with 423 yards on 94 carries but it’s fellow back Cordarrelle Patterson that leads the team in TDs with five. Caleb Huntley has added another 299 yards and a score to the backfield.
Carolina Panthers Analysis
If you ask anyone who’s the worst team in the NFL this year the Carolina Panthers will be a common answer as they traded away former star Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers a few weeks ago. At 2-7, the Panthers are looking at the top 5 pick in next year’s draft at this rate although they don’t have the worst overall record in the league as that belongs to the Houston Texans. Still, this is a team that’s in last place in the worst division in the NFL this season and haven’t shown any signs of turning it around. Carolina has gone 3-6 versus the spread this season while going 4-5 against the over/under.
A major factor in the Panthers’ ineptitude this season is due to a quarterback situation that’s shakier than an earthquake. They acquired former New York Jets QB Sam Darnold in the offseason only for him to get injured before the start of the season. The other option became former Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield whose starts this season have been atrocious. In six games played this season, Mayfield has 1,117 passing but only a 56.6% completion percentage. Third-stringer PJ Walker was given a shot the last two weeks but fared no better with 326 yards passing to go with three TDs and three interceptions.
It’s hard to say nice things about this Panthers team other than the fact that they had a shocking 21-3 over the Buccaneers in Week 7, the Sunday after dealing McCaffrey. Other than that it’s a team that has very few highlights on either side of the ball as their 289.9 yards on offense a contest is 30th in the league while they’re 184.6 yards passing per game ranks 28th. Their defense hasn’t played much better, giving up 25.3 points a game, 29th overall, while their 139.3 yards of rushing allowed is 28th in the league.
Free Pick – Over 44
With this game in Carolina and on Thursday Night Football, it’s anyone’s game even with the Falcons favored by three points. Don’t forget the Panthers beat the Buccaneers somehow and they’re a better team than Atlanta. On that note, the last time these two teams went at it two weeks ago in Atlanta they put up 71 points in a 37-34 Falcons victory that went to overtime. Truth of the matter is both of these teams rank in the bottom ten of the league in just about every category in team defense. While Atlanta has the superior offense, it doesn’t mean they won’t give up points. I see a similar game as the one that went down in Week 8 with both teams putting up enough points for this to hit the over. We like over 44 points.