Everything points to what should be an Atlanta win, as the Falcons are looking for their fifth straight win against the Panthers, and Atlanta head coach Mike Smith is 6-2 all time against Carolina.
But when two teams from the NFC South get together, most times, all bets are off.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is going to be looking for a little redemption after his team was spanked by the New York Giants on national T.V. last week.
Make no mistake, the Panthers are going to want to run the ball today with their 3-headed running attack, including Newton and his two backfield compadres, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.
Carolina looks to take advantage of one of the areas where the undefeated Falcons have been less than stellar this year — run defense. Atlanta is allowing an average of 128.4 rushing yards per game.
The problem for the Panthers is going to be slowing down Atlanta’s potent offense, which is far better than any they have faced this season. Carolina’s defense has been terrible against some pedestrian offenses, so the Falcons could be looking at a huge offensive day.
Cam Newton and the two Carolina running backs may very well have big days, but even that probably wont be enough to win an offensive shootout with Atlanta.
If Atlanta, in their throwback uniforms today, can score 35 or more and win the turnover battle, then they should come out of the Georgia Dome 4-0 today.
Player to watch: Falcons safety William Moore. He should have a big day against the type of offense the Panthers run, and could possibly have one or more picks before the game is over.
Prediction: The Falcons open up a big lead early, and hang on for a 42-31 win.