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Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers Pick & Prediction OCT 29TH 2020

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With little preparation time before their Thursday night game, the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons are expecting some significant changes when they meet in an NFC South matchup.


The Panthers are likely to have All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey back after more than a month's absence caused by a high ankle sprain. The Falcons simply want to put another forgettable result behind them and move on.


The teams will face off for the second time this season -- with notable personnel adjustments since the first get-together -- when they meet in Charlotte, N.C.


McCaffrey hasn't played since the second week of the season. The Panthers (3-4) are in a need of a boost to re-ignite their fortunes following consecutive losses in the wake of a three-game winning streak.


The Panthers announced Tuesday that McCaffrey has been designated to return from injured reserve.


"As soon as they say he can go, he'll go," coach Matt Rhule said. "I'm hopeful that we'll have him."


The addition of McCaffrey would provide the Panthers with more options on offense to go with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has been largely efficient. The Panthers have taken pride in some of their lengthy drives.


"If we can just continue to do our part to help our defense stay fresh and locked and loaded, I think we'll continue to complement each other," Bridgewater said. "The offense will complement the defense. The defense will complement the offense and special teams."


Carolina's defense experienced multiple breakdowns Sunday in a 27-24 loss at New Orleans, allowing the Saints to convert on 12 of 14 third-down situations.


"We just have to be able to help our offense out," Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson said.


Carolina wound up losing when Joey Slye's 65-yard field-goal attempt fell just short on the team's final offensive snap.


The Falcons came one play away from improving to 2-0 under interim coach Raheem Morris, who said the team needs to recover emotionally from the latest result -- a one-point loss to the Lions. Detroit drove 75 yards in 1:04 and scored the winning touchdown (and extra point) with no time remaining.


"We have to find ways to play better at those moments," Morris said of when the game is on the line. "It always comes down to making that big play at that big moment."


As for getting over the latest frustrating finish, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan said of the short week of preparation, "I think getting back into a game plan quickly kind of helps."


Morris believes there were encouraging parts of the first meeting with the Panthers, who won that matchup 23-16 on Oct. 11 in Atlanta.


"We played the Panthers really well last time," Morris said. "There are such small windows for error in the National Football League, and we have to clean those things up."


The Falcons are optimistic that all of their ailing players will be fit to play by Thursday night. Only defensive end Takk McKinley was held out of practice on Tuesday.


"We have to get back to our 1-0 mentality," Morris said of concentrating on the next game.


Not all of Carolina's injury problems are solved on offense. Left tackle Russell Okung (calf) and right guard John Miller (ankle) have missed practice time this week. Miller took part on a limited basis in Tuesday's workout.


The Panthers are 1-2 against NFC South foes after facing each of the other teams once. The outcome in the first Carolina-Atlanta game pushed the Falcons to an 0-5 record, prompting the firing of coach Dan Quinn.


"We've got an Atlanta team coming into town that I'm pretty sure after we played them, they felt they may have been one or two plays away from tying the game or beating us, so we have to make sure that we have the right mindset going into this game that nothing's going to be handed to us," Bridgewater said.


"We're going to make sure that we attack this week with the right mindset and be smart," Bridgewater added. "It's a quick turnaround, but no one's going to feel sorry for you once you get out there."


--Field Level Media


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Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Player Position Lineup
Ricardo Allen primary: Safety Starter
Allen Bailey primary: Defensive End Starter
James Carpenter primary: Left Guard Starter
Grady Jarrett primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Deion Jones primary: Linebacker Starter
Julio Jones primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Chris Lindstrom primary: Right Guard Starter
Alex Mack primary: Center Starter
Jake Matthews primary: Left Tackle Starter
Kaleb McGary primary: Right Tackle Starter
Steven Means primary: Defensive End Starter
Keanu Neal primary: Safety Starter
Isaiah Oliver primary: Defensive Back Starter
Foyesade Oluokun primary: Linebacker Starter
Calvin Ridley primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Matt Ryan primary: Quarterback Starter
Kendall Sheffield primary: Cornerback Starter
Hayden Hurst primary: Tight End Starter
Dante Fowler Jr. primary: Defensive End Starter
Todd Gurley primary: Halfback Starter
A.J. Terrell primary: Cornerback Starter
Luke Stocker primary: Tight End Starter
Christian Blake primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Tyeler Davison primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Russell Gage primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Matt Gono primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Jaeden Graham primary: Tight End Substitution
Josh Harris primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Brian Hill primary: Runningback Substitution
Younghoe Koo primary: Kicker Substitution
Qadree Ollison primary: Runningback Substitution
Brandon Powell primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Deadrin Senat primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Olamide Zaccheaus primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Keith Smith primary: Fullback Substitution
Sharrod Neasman primary: Safety Substitution
Blidi Wreh-Wilson primary: Cornerback Substitution
LaRoy Reynolds primary: Linebacker Substitution
Edmond Robinson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Matt Hennessy primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Mykal Walker primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jaylinn Hawkins primary: Safety Substitution
Sterling Hofrichter primary: Punter Substitution
Tyler Hall primary: Cornerback Substitution
Charles Harris primary: Defensive End Substitution
Takkarist McKinley primary: Defensive End Not active
Jordan Miller primary: Cornerback Not active
Matt Schaub primary: Quarterback Did not play
Ito Smith primary: Runningback Not active
John Wetzel primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Justin McCray primary: Guard Did not play
Marlon Davidson primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Player Position Lineup
Brian Burns primary: Defensive End Starter
Mike Davis primary: Runningback Starter
Donte Jackson primary: Cornerback Starter
Greg Little primary: Left Tackle Starter
DJ Moore primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Taylor Moton primary: Right Tackle Starter
Matt Paradis primary: Center Starter
Chris Reed primary: Left Guard Starter
Curtis Samuel primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Ian Thomas primary: Tight End Starter
Shaq Thompson primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Tre Boston primary: Free Safety Starter
John Miller primary: Right Guard Starter
Tahir Whitehead primary: MIKE Linebacker Starter
Stephen Weatherly primary: Defensive End Starter
Teddy Bridgewater primary: Quarterback Starter
Robby Anderson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Derrick Brown primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Jeremy Chinn primary: Strong Outside Linebacker Starter
Troy Pride Jr. primary: Cornerback Starter
Bravvion Roy primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Sam Franklin primary: Strong Safety Starter
Alex Armah primary: Fullback Substitution
Jermaine Carter primary: Linebacker Substitution
Dennis Daley primary: Guard Substitution
Corn Elder primary: Cornerback Substitution
Woodrow Hamilton primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Marquis Haynes primary: Defensive End Substitution
Natrell Jamerson primary: Defensive Back Substitution
J.J. Jansen primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Chris Manhertz primary: Tight End Substitution
Joey Slye primary: Kicker Substitution
Brandon Zylstra primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Pharoh Cooper primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
P.J. Walker primary: Quarterback Substitution
Stantley Thomas-Oliver III primary: Cornerback Substitution
Colin Thompson primary: Tight End Substitution
Myles Hartsfield primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Sam Tecklenburg primary: Center Substitution
Joseph Charlton primary: Punter Substitution
Adarius Taylor primary: Linebacker Substitution
Trenton Cannon primary: Runningback Substitution
Marken Michel primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Julian Stanford primary: Linebacker Substitution
Austin Larkin primary: Defensive End Substitution
Trent Scott primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Efe Obada primary: Defensive End Substitution
Kenny Robinson primary: Safety Substitution
Will Grier primary: Quarterback Not active
Russell Okung primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Zach Kerr primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Mike Horton primary: Guard Not active
Sean Chandler primary: Safety Not active

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 37 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 12 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Joey Slye
    • Rusher: Curtis Samuel
  • MIN 11
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 20 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 36 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 13 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
    • Rusher: Matt Ryan
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 29 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Curtis Samuel
    • Conv Kicker: Joey Slye
    • Passer: Teddy Bridgewater
  • Period 3
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 39 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Joey Slye
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 29 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • Period 4
  • MIN 11
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 3 Yards
    • Rusher: Todd Gurley
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • Match End


Last 10

W 40% L 60%
4 6
  • Las Vegas W 6 - 43
  • @New Orleans L 9 - 24
  • Denver W 27 - 34
  • @Carolina W 25 - 17
  • Detroit L 23 - 22
  • @Minnesota W 40 - 23
  • Carolina L 23 - 16
  • @Green Bay L 16 - 30
  • Chicago L 30 - 26
  • @Dallas L 39 - 40
W 40% L 60%
4 6
  • @Minnesota L 27 - 28
  • Detroit W 0 - 20
  • Tampa Bay L 46 - 23
  • @Kansas City L 31 - 33
  • Atlanta L 25 - 17
  • @New Orleans L 24 - 27
  • Chicago L 23 - 16
  • @Atlanta W 23 - 16
  • Arizona W 21 - 31
  • @L.A. Chargers W 21 - 16

Next Games

  • New Orleans(11-28-19) L 26 - 18
  • @L.A. Chargers(09-23-12) W 27 - 3
  • Tampa Bay(11-24-19) L 35 - 22
  • @Kansas City(09-09-12) W 40 - 24
  • @Tampa Bay(12-29-19) W 28 - 22
  • Denver(11-11-12) L 36 - 14
  • @Green Bay(11-10-19) L 16 - 24
  • @Washington(10-14-18) L 17 - 23
  • New Orleans(12-29-19) L 42 - 10

Last Meetings

  • Falcons @ Panthers 25-17
  • Panthers @ Falcons 23-16
  • Panthers @ Falcons 20-40
  • Falcons @ Panthers 29-3
  • Falcons @ Panthers 24-10
  • Panthers @ Falcons 24-31
  • Panthers @ Falcons 10-22
  • Falcons @ Panthers 17-20
  • Falcons @ Panthers 33-16
  • Panthers @ Falcons 33-48

Last Injuries

Carolina Panthers

  • Dennis Daley

    Ques Week 14 | questionable

    Daley missed the previous game as he is going through the concussion protocol, and there is no indication if he will clear in time for Week 14 versus the Broncos.

  • Donte Jackson

    Ques Week 14 | questionable

    Jackson has been absent from the lineup during the previous two games due to turf toe, and it is undetermined if he will play against the Broncos in Week 14.

  • DJ Moore

    Ques Week 14 | questionable

    Moore left the last game with an ankle injury, and it is unknown if he will be good to go for Week 14 against the Broncos.

  • Bravvion Roy

    Ques Week 14 | questionable

    Roy was forced from the last game with an injured elbow, and it remains to be seen if he will lace up versus the Broncos in Week 14.

  • Sam Franklin

    Ques Week 14 | questionable

    Franklin has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury, and it has yet to be established if he will take on the Broncos in Week 14.

  • Marquis Haynes

    Prob Sun | probable

    Haynes is projected to be available Sunday versus the Vikings despite a shoulder injury.

  • Brandon Zylstra

    Prob Sun | probable

    Zylstra is expected to be active for Sunday's matchup against the Vikings despite a shoulder injury.

  • Tahir Whitehead

    Out Sun | out

    Whitehead sat out the previous game with a rib injury, and he will not be ready to face the Vikings on Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Julio Jones

    day-to-day | questionable

    Jones missed the previous game due to left hamstring tightness, and it is unknown if he will draw back into the lineup for Week 13 versus the Saints.

  • Olamide Zaccheaus

    day-to-day | questionable

    Zaccheaus was forced from the last game due to an injured toe, and his status for Week 13 against the Saints is in question.

  • Qadree Ollison

    day-to-day | questionable

    Ollison missed the last game due to illness, and it is uncertain if he will be a participant in Week 13 versus the Saints.

  • Todd Gurley

    day-to-day | questionable

    Gurley sat out the previous game due to a knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will take the field against the Saints in Week 13.

  • James Carpenter

    day-to-day | questionable

    Carpenter was forced from the last game with an injured groin, and it is undetermined if he will be available to face the Saints in Week 13.

  • Edmond Robinson

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Robinson is bothered by a hamstring injury, and it has yet to be determined if he will suit up against the Raiders on Sunday.

  • Grady Jarrett

    Prob Sun | probable

    Jarrett is projected to take on the Raiders on Sunday despite a knee injury.

  • Foyesade Oluokun

    Prob Sun | probable

    Oluokun is hindered by a knee injury, but it is projected that he will be a participant Sunday versus the Raiders.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 281 yards and scored on a run and the visiting Atlanta Falcons came up with enough plays on defense to turn away the Carolina Panthers for a 25-17 victory Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Ryan was 21-for-30 in the air with an interception.

The Panthers took possession with 2:58 remaining at its own 5-yard line after the Falcons, who had reached Carolina territory, punted for the only time in the game. The Panthers moved to the Atlanta 30-yard line before an interception by Blidi Wreh-Wilson was the game's clincher.

Curtis Samuel scored two touchdowns for Carolina, which was without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey for the sixth consecutive game. McCaffrey returned to practice earlier in the week as he recovers from an ankle injury, but it was announced earlier in the day that he would be held out.

Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was 15-for-23 for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Carolina (3-5) has followed a three-game winning streak with three straight losses.

The outcome came less than three weeks since the Panthers won 23-16 in Atlanta, and Raheem Morris became the Falcons' interim coach the next day upon the firing of Dan Quinn. Atlanta (2-6), which was coming off Sunday's one-point home loss to Detroit, improved to 2-1 under Morris.

Atlanta receiver Julio Jones churned out another big game against the Panthers, posting 137 yards on seven catches.

Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo was 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts, connecting from 20, 37, 36 and 29 yards -- although he did miss an extra-point in the fourth quarter.

Samuel, a receiver, scored on a 12-yard run in the first quarter. He caught a 29-yard pass from Bridgewater on a second-quarter flea flicker.

Ryan's 13-yard run for a score midway through the second quarter and Koo's field goal on the final play in the half provided the Falcons with a 16-14 halftime lead.

The Panthers were within 19-17 after Joey Slye's 39-yard field goal on a drive extended by a successful fake punt.

Todd Gurley's 3-yard run gave him an NFL-leading eighth touchdown run of the season for Atlanta. But Koo missed the extra-point kick, leaving the Falcons with a 25-17 lead at the 11:01 mark.

Defensive end Charles Harris of the Falcons was ejected for a third-quarter hit on Bridgewater, who entered the game second in the NFL with a completion percentage of 72.2. Bridgewater returned with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter after receiving treatment for an apparent neck injury.

--Field Level Media