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  • Gary Porpora



Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) @ Carolina Panthers 41.5 [O]

The only reason the Panthers lost their Week 8 shootout to the Birds of Prey was because WR, D.J. Moor—ecstatic to catch a late game winning TD pass from quarterback, PJ Walker—took off his helmet on the field.

The resulting 5-yard penalty made the potential game winning extra point an adventure that ended in a miss followed by OT and an eventual loss for Carolina.

It was a compelling ending to watch even if both teams have two of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Question is—and the answer might determine our call on this puppy—which defense is worse?

At first glance, a “Capper might be impressed; the Falcons run defense is Top Ten in:

· Opponents Rush Play %

· Opp. Rushes per Game

· Opp. Rushing YPG...

· 12th in Opp. YPR

Wow it must be difficult to run on Atlanta…UH—No! Their run defense is a mirage.

They are in the bottom three of NFL pass defenses: Overall Atlanta ranks…

· Last in passing yards surrendered

· 31st in Opp. Passes/Game and Opp. Comp. %

· 31st in Sack %

· 30th in Opp. YPPass

· Surrender …6.1 YPPlay and 406.9 YPG (31st)

· 46.15% of 3rd Down Conversions (29th)

· 25 Points per game… (26th)

Teams don’t bother to run against the Falcons because their pass defense is eminently more vulnerable.

Too bad Carolina is inept as a passing offense.

PJ Walker, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield have combined to tally an NFL worst completion % of 57.46 …They rank 28th, managing only184.6 Passing YPG… are 26th in interception %...and they get sacked more than a semi full of Russet potatoes.

Even worse for Carolina, although Atlanta’s passing game is as inept as the Panthers', the Falcons ground game is elite— 12th in YPR, 7th in rushing touchdowns and top four in every other important metric.

The icing on the Panthers moldy cake of gridiron doom is the recent firing of Matt Rhule and just yesterday, two position coaches were shown the door.

Carolina is in turmoil because David Tepper didn’t learn his lessons as minority owner of the Steelers. Rhule was a high-risk hire; firing him mid-season makes ownership look desperate and seeing position coaches wave goodbye two weeks later has to affect the player’s willingness to give it their all.

Baker Mayfield might have a big night against the atrocious Falcons pass defense, but Atlanta will answer score for score and pull out an easy win—Over the Number.

***We know it will be windy and rainy, but these division rivals are so bad defensively, the offenses would score points in a hurricane.***

Falcons 33

Panthers 20

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