Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Matchup Preview (10/31/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Matchup Preview (10/31/21)
The Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers had two very different Sundays in Week 7. The Falcons had a major 30-28 comeback win over the Miami Dolphins as the team improved the 3-3. Not many experts (or bettors for that matter) were high on the Falcons entering the season, but they’ve been impressive so far. The team’s got two wins in a row to build off of, which bodes well for new head coach Arthur Smith. Still, Atlanta faces an uphill battle in the NFC South, and they’ll need to keep vigilant if they want to keep their collective head above water.
On the other hand, the Carolina Panthers have had a rough month. After kicking off the season 3-0, they’ve limped to a 3-4 record. The team just came off a dispiriting blowout loss against the New York Giants, and there are rightfully questions abound for head coach Matt Rhule’s squad. The two NFC South competitors will meet on Halloween, and it should be a competitive game considering how much both squads need a win to stay alive. Here’s what you should look for this weekend when the Falcons host the Panthers.
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds
The margin between these two teams is pretty razor thin. This is reflected by the 3-point spread heading into Sunday. I think the main deciding factor is going to be the Atlanta Falcons passing attack against the Carolina Panthers pass defense. And, between the two, I’ll take Matt Ryan and his many capable receivers. The Panthers will definitely get their stops in this game, but it won’t be enough to keep Atlanta from scoring points.
And, most importantly, the Panthers won’t be able to keep up once Atlanta starts scoring. Sam Darnold is seeing ghosts again, and his performance has been diminishing after a strong start to the season. The mixture of a Sunday benching and some outside trade talk for Deshaun Watson is sure to wear on the Carolina QB, if just a little bit. If Christian McCaffrey were back, I’d be more keen on the Panthers in this matchup. However, with the team still licking their wounds after a disastrous performance against the New York Giants, I’m laying the key number with the home favorite for this Halloween matchup.
My predictions: Falcons win 21-14, Falcons -3, under 46 points
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Date: Sunday, October 31st
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Mercedes Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA
TV Coverage: CBS
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Live Stream
Where can you watch Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Free Online Now.
Carolina Panthers: OT Cameron Erving (illness/neck) O, S Juston Burris (groin) IR, CB Stephon Gilmore (quadriceps) O, LB Shaq Thompson (foot) O, G John Miller (ankle) O, FB Giovanni Ricci (concussion) O, WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (concussion) O, CB C.J. Henderson (shoulder) Q, CB Myles Hartsfield (wrist) IR
Atlanta Falcons: LB Dante Fowler Jr. (knee) IR, CB Avery Williams (hamstring) O, CB A.J. Terrell (neck) Q, S Erik Harris (shoulder) Q
Carolina Panthers Analysis
I feel like I, along with many others, have overvalued the Carolina Panthers recently. The team’s hot start coupled with close games against the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Vikings made me think they were built to compete all season. Well, this disastrous Sunday has shown me this team has some deep-seated issues.
The finger is pointed right at the Carolina offense, and for good reason. Carolina mustered only 173 yards on Sunday, and QB Sam Darnold found himself on the bench in the fourth quarter. Darnold passed for just 111 yards and a pick against a low-tier Giants defense. Now, with rumors of a Deshaun Watson trade popping up, there are plenty of questions about Darnold’s future in Carolina. Meanwhile, running back Chuba Hubbard managed only 28 yards and a 2.3 average on the day. The team desperately needs Christian McCaffrey to return to give the offense a shot in the arm.
The defense is still among the best in the league. They’re still only allowing 307.4 yards per game, and the D remains the best aspect of this team. The pass rush has especially been humming this year, with a total of 18 sacks so far. LB Haason Reddick is giving opposing passers plenty of headaches, totaling 6.5 sacks in seven games. The team could tighten up their run defense a bit, but slowing down opposing passers is essential in the modern NFL.
Carolina Panthers Depth Chart
Atlanta Falcons Analysis
It probably wasn’t on top of everyone’s watchlist this week, but the Falcons win over the Dolphins was definitely exciting. The team managed the clock perfectly in their final drive, with Younghoe Koo kicking the winning field goal. The jokes about the Falcons blowing another lead were quelled with that successful kick.
Now, it’s time to build off that win. Tight end Kyle Pitts is thriving in this offense right now, coming off a 163-yard performance. The rookie was a hot name in the Rookie of the Year race before the season started, and he’ll keep making his case with performances like that. The entire offense is clicking right now, and questions about QB Matt Ryan are starting to be quieted. Ryan has a 3:1 TD-to-INT ratio right now, and his experience should help to carry the team in tough spots.
The Atlanta defense is about as average as you can get. The team is ranked 18th in the league right now, allowing 362.7 yards per game. No one player has shown a lot so far, as the team is totaling 10 sacks and three picks so far. The Falcons haven’t had one defining defensive performance so far, and that’s going to need to change considering the number of strong offenses they’ll be facing down the road.
Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Daily Fantasy Picks
OK, just hear me out on this one. I believe tight end Hayden Hurst is worth a value pick this week. The big focus might be on tight end Kyle Pitts, and that’s exactly why I’m taking a look at Hurst this week. The Panthers will be so focused on stopping the electric rookie Pitts that Hurst will have some opportunities to pick up some yards and maybe even find the end zone as he did against the New York Jets. Currently listed at $2,900 on DraftKings, Hurst is a great value pick if you need to manage your salary cap.
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