(11/10/22) 8:15 PM Eastern.
Spread: Falcons -2.5 / Panthers +2.5
Moneyline: Falcons -150 / Panthers +125
Total: Over / Under 41.5
Week 10 of the NFL season opens up with an NFC East showdown between the (4-5) Atlanta Falcons and (2-7) Carolina Panthers. These two met previously on October 30th, Falcons won 37-34 in OT. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15p.m. eastern time at Bank of America Stadium.
Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Marcus Mariota and the Falcons are coming off a tough loss at home against the Chargers. They squandered a lead in the 4th quarter, then missed a go-ahead field goal before a wasted takeaway led to the Chargers game winner. Austin Ekeler fumbled on the 20 yard line going in with just 40 seconds left on the clock, recovered by Atlanta’s Ta’Quon Graham who would go on to fumble the ball himself despite not being touched by anybody and that would be recovered by LA. 24 yards and 2 timeouts later, the Chargers kicked the game winner.
Mariota had a bad day, completing just 12 of 23 pass attempts for 129 yards and no scores. He added 24 yards rushing on 5 carries but his poor play last week is a large reason why Atlanta took the loss. On the bright side Cordarrelle Patterson did make an effective return from injury. Rushing 12 times for 44 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 1 catch for 9 yards. It was rookie RB Tyler Allgeir that led the team in rushing yards. On just 10 attempts he ran for 99 yards and took his lone reception for 24 yards.
The Falcons defense is bad. They rank 26th at 25 Points Allowed Per Game and have let up a league worst 2,700 total passing yards. In large part due to a non-existent pass rush, they have just 12 sacks (tied for 30th) in 9 games. The run defense has been respectable at least, tied for 10th allowing 4.3 yards per carry. They have been able to take the ball away, securing 13 takeaways which is tied for 8th in the NFL.
Carolina Panthers (2-7)
The only positive for Carolina this season, they’re 2-1 in the division. Mainly a year to forget for Carolina. HC Matt Rhule got fired mid-way through the season, the trade for Baker Mayfield looks terrible, and now P.J. Walker is the starting QB. He has a pair of decent outings to go along with a pair of terrible ones. So bad last week that they benched him for Baker Mayfield in the 2nd half. Sam Darnold was just activated off injured reserve as well. It appears to be a matter of when, not if he gets a shot.
Trading away Christian McCaffrey certainly didn’t help this offense. D’Onta Foreman and Chubba Hubbard were the fill ins but Hubbard went down with an ankle injury in the first game post CMC. Foreman has a pair of strong outings, 118 yards on 15 carries vs TB and 118 yards on 26 carries vs ATL. He struggled last week, running for just 23 yards on 7 carries.
Defensively the Panthers started off strong but have opened the flood gates in recent weeks. They allowed 42 points to Cincinnati last week and 37 to these Falcons the week before. Surprisingly held Tom Brady and the Buccs to just a field goal the week before that though. Outside of Brian Burns this defense simply lacks talent. Burns was one of the hottest names at the Trade Deadline, Carolina refused to move him for less than multiple first round picks. Despite the lack of help around him he still has 6 sacks on the season.
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ATL/CAR Over 41.5. Both of these teams really struggle defensively and they just went way over this total when they played each other 11 days ago. While I’m sure the defenses are trying to adjust, there really hasn’t been enough time to do so. Stuck on a short week to put in a defensive install and it’s not like these defenses have been able to stop anyone else. Atlanta ranks 26th in points allowed per game and Carolina 29th. The Panthers have allowed less than 24 points just once in their last 5 games. Atlanta meanwhile is letting up an average of 29.6 points it’s last 3. The Falcons offense has also been quite good this year, ranking 8th in PPG with 24.1. The ground game has been elite, ranking 4th at 162.9 rush YPG. They’ve combined for 50 and 71 the last two times they’ve played. More points tonight.