The Atlanta Falcons (3-4, 2-1 Home) welcome the Carolina Panthers (2-5, 0-2 Away) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. The Falcons are four-point favorites, and the total is 41. Carolina is coming off a convincing 21-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday.
P.J. Walker was 16 of 22 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. D’Onta Foreman ran 15 times for 118 yards. DJ Moore was targeted 10 times, catching seven passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Atlanta lost 35-17 to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium last Sunday. Marcus Mariota threw for 124 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Allgeier carried 16 times for 50 yards and a touchdown. Damiere Byrd also scored once. He had one reception for 75 yards.
The teams split their two meetings last season, the last of which was a 29-21 win for the Falcons in December. Matt Ryan tossed one touchdown for Atlanta, as Cordarrelle Patterson added a rushing TD.
TALE OF THE TAPE
The Panthers are averaging 17.7 points per game for the season, 26th in the NFL, and they are facing a Falcons defense that has surrendered 24.4 PPG (24th). Meanwhile, Atlanta has scored 23.3 points a game this season, 12th in the league, and Carolina is allowing 21.3 PPG (17th).
The Panthers rank as one of the league’s worst teams in passing yards per game (188.3, 28th), while they are 23rd in rushing yards (102.1). They may find their best opportunities through the air, as the Falcons are worst in the league in passing yards allowed per game (318.3). Against the run, Atlanta is fifth (100.3).
Atlanta has been one of the league’s top rushing teams, averaging 156.9 yards per game (4th), while ranking 31st in passing yards (168.4). The Panthers are allowing 239.9 passing yards (19th) and 120.9 rushing yards per game (21st).
Carolina is averaging 2.0 trips to the red zone a game this season, zeroth lowest in the NFL, finding the end zone 43% of the time (30th). Atlanta ranks as one of the biggest red zone threats in the league, scoring a touchdown 68% of the time (4th) when the team moves inside the 20.
Through five games, Baker Mayfield has thrown for four touchdowns (4 INT) and 192.4 yards per game to lead Carolina in passing. In one prior away game this season, he had one TD and 145 yards passing. Christian McCaffrey leads the team in rushing with an average of 65.5 yards a game over six games.
He’s also been a key component in the passing game, leading the team in total receiving yards (46.2 yards a game). He has two touchdowns on the ground.Marcus Mariota has seven passing touchdowns (4 INT) with 168.4 yards per game through seven games to lead Atlanta. In three home games this season, he has thrown for two TDs (1 INT) and an average of 161.0 yards.
Cordarrelle Patterson has been the home team’s leading performer on the ground, averaging 85.0 yards a game through four games. He has three touchdowns. Drake London has been a key target in the Falcons’ passing game. He has two touchdowns and a 45.0 yard per game average through seven appearances.
HOME AND AWAY
Carolina is looking to taste victory on the road for the first time this season in two games.
SportsTips’ NFL Pick:
Atlanta Falcons (-200)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.