The Carolina Panthers delivered a dominant performance on Thursday Night Football in week 8 of the 2013 NFL season over the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their offense got things going rather smoothly, led by quarterback Cam Newton, and their defense continued to be one of the better units throughout the entire league.
The win over the Bucs was the Panther’s third straight and brought their record to 4-3 on the season. More importantly, that win puts them just a half of a game behind the Detroit Lions for the final wildcard spot in the NFC as of right now. With where they stand now, the Panthers have a chance to make things happen in regards to their postseason chances.
Carolina trying to continue their upward trajectory will begin with week nine when they face off with another division foe in the Atlanta Falcons. Thought the Falcons have recently been one of the more difficult matchups in the NFC South. However, this season is an entirely different story when it comes to playing Atlanta.
The Falcons are reeling right now, coming off of an embarrassing week eight loss to the Arizona Cardinals and sitting in third place in the division, a full two games behind the Panthers. Moreover, the Falcons defense has been quite porous this season and their offense is incredibly depleted with Steven Jackson back, but still slowed, from injury, Julio Jones out for the rest of the year, and Roddy White’s uncertain future with a couple of injuries.
With the Panthers taking on the Falcons, they are in prime position to prove that they are a playoff team this season by moving their record to 5-3. If they are able to avoid a let-down game against a disappointing Falcons team, Carolina can keep their season going in a positive direction.