The Carolina Panthers have already clinched a spot in this year’s playoffs, but they are still playing for so much more. The NFC South is still up for grabs as is a first-round bye, and all that stands in their way is a win over the hapless Atlanta Falcons. That is much easier said than done though.
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are on a roll. Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another to overcome a shaky start, the defense intercepted Matt Ryan three times and Carolina beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-10 for its fourth straight victory.
Wes Durham the voice of the Atlanta Falcons talks with The Drive to preview the Panthers/Falcons game this Sunday, they get into where the ACC is as a conference, and the troubles the Falcons have had this year.
The NFC South has always been one of those divisions full of surprises, twists and competitiveness. Everyone probably could have predicted one team to excel, another to be a close second, a third to start fading back, and a fourth to be one of the worst in the league … but not in the order they are currently in.
Having an elite signal-caller who can win you the game in crunch time is essential for any NFL franchise.
Only in “Bizarro World” would the University of Miami basketball team destroy #1 Duke 90-63. That’s exactly what happened. Coach K. Better fix it ASAP because conference schedule has just begun. The NCAA should investigate Miami for violating Duke the way they did.
As a season winds down, you can always count on someone saying, “If the season ended today …..,” but in the Panthers’ case, it would be “If the season STARTED today …..,” as in six weeks ago. Over that span they are 3-3 and coming off a solid win against a division rival while Cam Newton is looking more like he did last year than in the first seven games of 2012.
In a season filled with injuries, the Panthers are very used to saying, “Next man up.” This week is no different as they have to replace their number one back and number two receiver as they host the 11-1 Falcons who are in a lot better shape, physically.
Matt Ryan stirred up a hornet’s nest with some late game comments the first time the Panthers faced the Falcons in Atlanta earlier this season. This weekend Ryan brings his team to Charlotte and there could be more story lines than just an 11-1 team squaring off against one that is 3-9.
After five weeks of the NFL season, the NFC South is not as competitive as many had expected and the Falcons have already opened up a 3.5 game lead. The Saints are still powerful enough to pull themselves out of an early season tailspin but for the Panthers and Buccaneers it might be, “Wait until next year.”