Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs CAR

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs CAR


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs CAR

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Prediction: ATL 24, CAR 20 (Line: CAR by 2)

The amazing thing here is that the 3-5-1 Panthers and the 3-6 Falcons are both in strong contention for the division since the leader of the Saints are just 4-5. The Falcons are only 1-4 in road games and the Panthers are 2-3 at home. The Panthers are on a short week after being embarrassed on Monday night against the Eagles.

The Panthers swept the Falcons last year and won 34-10 in Carolina.

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB 27-17
2 @CIN 10-24 11 @CAR —–
3 TB 56-14 12 CLE —–
4 @MIN 28-41 13 ARI —–
5 @NYG 20-30 14 @GB —–
6 CHI 13-27 15 PIT —–
7 @BAL 7-29 16 @NO —–
8 DET 21-22 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 250,2
WR Julio Jones 6-90,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 4-60
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons come off a rare road win in Tampa Bay but had lost all others by 10+ points. Technically the Falcons are only a game out of first place but the schedule is not kind and their only hope is both the Panthers and Saints continue to struggle. A win here would make a big difference since the opener was a win over the Saints and that would make them 4-0 against the division.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan scored in every game this year but has fallen off in recent weeks. He’s thrown just six touchdowns over the last five games and failed to top 230 yards for the last three weeks. After starting the year with ten scores over four weeks, he’s cooled significantly but that in part has to do with better scoring from the running backs.

Ryan passed for 219 yards and one score in Carolina last year.

RUNNING BACK : Antone Smith has gone three weeks without scoring or more than ten yards in a game so his hot start to the year is also over. Devonta Freeman gets a handful of touches per week and does almost nothing with them and yet still is better than Jacquizz Rodgers. At least Steven Jackson scored in each of the last two games and gained at least 60 rushing yards in each. After a season of marginal carries, Jackson is getting 16 to 18 runs per game. All four backs figure in but only Jackson carries so much as a whiff of fantasy value.

The Falcons rushed for a combined 76 yards on 18 carries in Carolina but never scored.

WIDE RECEIVER : There is no confusion here. The only receivers that matter are Roddy White and Julio Jones. the tight end stopped mattering with Tony Gonzalez’s departure. Harry Douglas and Devin Hester struggle to get more than one reception per week. Jones has been held out of the end zone since week two and his yardage has been moderate at best but he comes off a 119 yard effort in Tampa Bay for his third 100 yard effort. White is not above having a bad game but scored in two of the last three including his only 100 yard effort of the year. White has been much more effective in road games than at home. Stop White and Jones and you stop the Falcons.

Neither White nor Jones were healthy enough to play in Carolina last year.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The positive here is that the Panthers allow more passing scores than the Falcons have been producing in recent weeks. Only two teams stopped at one passing touchdown and several ended with three along with good yardage. The Panthers defense has really taken a nose-dive this season and the rushing defense has already allowed 14 touchdowns to running backs and three 100+ rushing yard games. That makes Steven Jackson in line for his third straight scoring game. The secondary gave up 14 scores to wideouts and healthy yardage. Ryan is a moderate start this week but Jackson, White and Jones are all strong plays.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 11 3 4 31 22 17
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 29 26 26 15 17 28

Carolina Panthers

1 @TB 20-14 10 @PHI 21-45
2 DET 24-7 11 ATL —–
3 PIT 19-37 12 BYE —–
4 @BAL 10-38 13 @MIN —–
5 CHI 31-24 14 @NO —–
6 @CIN 37-37 15 TB —–
7 @GB 17-38 16 CLE —–
8 SEA 9-13 17 @ATL —–
9 NO 10-29  
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 240,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 60,1 1-10
WR Kelvin Benjamin 6-80,1
TE Greg Olsen 4-50
PK Graham Gano 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The schedule has been no friend of the Panthers during their four game losing streak but even more disturbing is how uncompetitive the Panthers have played in recent weeks. The visiting Saints beat them by 19 points and the Eagles just had their way with them. The defense had long been the saving grace here but that is no longer the case. Cam Newton has to win games himself and that has not been happening. This week and then when the Bucs visit are the softest remaining matchups but the problems in Carolina are fundamental and not likely resolved quickly.

QUARTERBACK : The official word is that Cam Newton is fine and healthy and not nursing a foot injury. Newton passed for 306 yards and two scores in the loss to the Eagles but that all came when the game was out of reach and the Eagles did not care. Newton also threw three interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked nine times. It was also the first game in three weeks where he threw for a touchdown. Newton is getting sacked at least three times every week and losing the ball twice. As was repeated by the announcers – “Cam just doesn’t look right”.

Newton passed for 249 yards and one score when the Falcons visited last year.

RUNNING BACK : No changes to the worst unit in the NFL. Jonathan Stewart did manage to score for only the second time this year but ran for just 36 yards on 11 carries in the loss to the Eagles. All combined, the Panthers running backs have scored just four times this year and DeAngelo Williams remains without a touchdown. There has never been any realistic fantasy value here.

The Panthers rushed for a combined 109 yards and a touchdown by Mike Tolbert last year when the Falcons came to town.

WIDE RECEIVER : The problem only gets worse. Kelvin Benjamin has been a great addition and scored seven times already but he is very much alone as a play maker. No other wideout has more than one score and none have managed more than 80 yards in any game. Benjamin is talented and getting plenty of targets but he alone is not able to win games. He ended last week with three catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Jerricho Cotchery, Brenton Bersin and Jason Avant are so unproductive that there is no reason to project for them.

TIGHT END : Greg Olsen is the only other receiver of any note and even he had two bad games in a row against the Seahawks (1-16) and Saints (3-30) before stepping up to six catches for 119 yards last week, Olsen scored five times this season but none since week six.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The problem here is that the Falcons are the worst at stopping running backs but the Panthers have the worst running backs. The Falcons are about average against the pass but the Panthers only have two players they throw to and one is a tight end which the Falcons have been excellent against this year. Consider Newton a risky play this week despite being at home because there will not be a ton of trash time like last Monday. Newton was on a three game slide and looked even more banged up against the Eagles. Stewart and Williams go against a bad defense to be sure but they’ve done nothing to suggest they can take advantage of any defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 12 32 23 9 19 20
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 15 32 22 4 26 13

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