Sports

NFL Crystal Ball: Falcons will defeat the Panthers

Both teams have strong defenses, but the Falcon’s offense is outshining the Panthers who are struggling to put points on the board.

The most interesting game of week 9 is the Atlanta Falcons vs The Carolina Panthers. I am picking the Falcons to win this game.

The Falcons this year have been doing decently. They have 4 wins and 3 losses. They are 3rd in the NFC South. Their offence and defence are in the league’s top 15 which is not too bad.

The Falcons had a really good season last year. They made the playoffs and they went to the Super Bowl. The Falcons blew the New England away in the second quarter–they scored 21 points. But then in the second half started the Falcons couldn’t score a point and New England tied it up in the 4th quarter to go into overtime and New England won the coin toss so all they had to do is get a touchdown and they did. If the Falcons had played better defence in 4th quarter and got some points on the board would have helped a lot, too. It was a pretty big disappointment for the Falcons. The Falcons offence passing yards are 9th in the league.

The Falcons have a really strong passing game. They have one of the best wide receivers in the NFL which is Julio Jones. Jones is averaging 14.6 yards per catch and has already 500 passing yards. The Panthers are going to have to watch for Julio Jones and guard him tight. It is Julio Jones’s 7th season with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons rushing yards are good too they rank 11th in the league. Devonta Freeman has been the Falcons starting running back for 4 seasons now. Freeman hasn’t really been a top running back but he’s a decent one–someone who can just pick up a few yards when they need him. The Panthers defense have been really good. They are at least in the top 5 defenses in the NFL. This will be challenge for the Falcons but they need to get their offence going. The Falcons only use their 2 wide receiver Julio Jones and Sanu Mohammed. They have to use more of their young players but I don’t think Matt Ryan trusts them yet. Matt Ryan is the Falcons’s starting quarterback. He’s averaging 7.9 passing yards per game.

The Falcons defense this year is doing really well, particularly their passing defense. They are ranked 14th in the league for passing defense and the running defense is ranked 11th in the league. All of their defense stats are in the top 15. Their top players on defense are De’Vondre Campbell, Deion Jones, Damontae Kazee, Brooks Reed, Desmond Trufant, Brian Poole and Dontari Poe. The Falcons are trusting their rookies on defense like Damontae Kazee. His first game he got 11 tackles and 2 fumbles and De’Vondre Campbell the outside linebacker has 38 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 fumble. The Falcons will get some points on the board against Panthers defense but it won’t be easy. They will have a chance because the Panthers offence isn’t that good. This is a division game so if the Falcons win it will put them in second place and the Panthers in third place.

The Carolina Panthers are 2nd in the NFC south with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses. The one big that stands out for Carolina is their amazing defence. They have only been letting their opponents score 17 points per game, putting them 5th in the league.

The offence isn’t as good.They have been struggling on their passing game and running game. If Carolina just improves their offence they will easily win the Super Bowl. Right now offence is averaging 18 points per game and their passing and running game is 20th in the league. The Panthers just traded one of their best wide receivers, Kelvin Benjamin. Cam Newton the quarterback has gotten 11 interceptions without Kelvin Benjamin. This was Cam Newton’s number one wide receiver to throw to and now he is starting to struggle without him. I think the Panthers shouldn’t have traded Kelvin Benjamin.

Greg Olsen, the Panthers starting tight end, is injured and hasn’t been doing well. I think Panthers need to pick up a veteran wide receiver that can be reliable for Cam Newton when he needs someone. The Panthers running game is okay but it’s not the greatest. They have been struggling to find a good running back. But the running back they are starting is Jonathan Stewart. This is Jonathan Stewart’s 10th season with the Carolina Panthers. He hasn’t really had a big year. Jonathan Stewart this season is averaging 3 yards per carry. He hasn’t average a 1000 running yard season game he is a average running back. Cam Newton needs to run the ball more because of his size. Cam Newton is 6 foot 5 and weighs 245 pounds. He can use his size to get out of the pocket fast and he can break tackles. This will be a challenge for the Panthers because the Falcons have really good running and passing defense.

The Carolina defense is their strongest part of the team. They are 2nd in the league in leading yards per game. They are 3rd in the league in allowing passing yards. They are 5th in league in allowing running yards per game. Top players on the Carolina defense are Thomas Davis, Shaq Thompson, Darryl Worley, Julius Peppers, Mike Adams, and Luke Kuechly. Luke Kuechly is one of the best middle linebackers this year. He has 54 tackles, 1 fumble and 2 interceptions. Luke Kuechly has been with the Panthers for 6 seasons. Shaq Thompson is a really good outside linebacker and he has a lot to prove. He is averaging 2.0 sacks and he has 38 tackles. Darryl Worley is a cornerback his 2nd year with the Carolina Panthers. He has 26 tackles. Julius Peppers one of the oldest NFL players still playing. He’s 37 years old. Peppers played in his rookie year with the Panthers then came back for this season. Julius Peppers is averaging pretty good stats for a guy that is 38. He has 18 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 2 fumbles. I think Julius Peppers is really good for his age. Mike Adams is another old but good player. He is 36 years old but his stats are really good. These veteran on really good on the team because it helps the rookies and the younger players learn. Mike Adams has 36 tackles and 1 interceptions. This will be a challenge for Falcons offence because the Panthers.

I think the Falcons will win because their offence is on fire but it will be hard for the Falcons to score because the Panthers defense is also on fire. If the Panthers defense is getting stops and the offence is doing well in the passing game, they have an outside chance.

NFL Crystal Ball is a regular column in which Ferda 42 picks the winner of upcoming NFL games. Got a comment for Ferda 42? Let us know in the comments or by emailing 8fortymagazine@gmail.com.

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