Defense is a major concern
The Atlanta Falcons (2-1, 1st NFC South) have rebounded from their opening loss to win two straight games and take over the NFC South. While the offense is humming along at 438 yards a game, their defense is ranked near the bottom of the league, giving up 371 yards a game. And defense wins championships. Now come the Panthers (1-2, 3rd NFC South)
These two teams have a nice little history between them and have played 42 times with the Falcons taking a 25-17 lead in the series. While the Panthers record is under .500, they are favored in this match up by 3 1/2 because of that porous Falcons defense. The Panthers, however, have a stiff defense, ranked 3rd in the NFL and is the best Atlanta has come across this season.
“An excellent defense,” QB Matt Ryan said of Carolina. “I think their front seven does a great job both against the run and the pass. Two excellent linebackers. A front four that is very deep across the board. Those guys play extremely well. For us, it’s going to be important to play well up front and to prepare for their scheme. I think they do a great job of understanding their scheme and understanding the offenses that they’re going against.”