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Know Your Foe: Atlanta Falcons


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers are on the road for another NFC South matchup this Sunday.

Carolina travels to face the Falcons (3-4) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff in Week 8. It'll be the Panthers' first of two meetings across three weeks with the Falcons.

Atlanta holds a 34-20 advantage in the all-time series, including a 19-8 record at home. The Panthers are 2-2 against the Falcons since 2020, splitting the series in each of the previous two seasons. Carolina has won its last two games against the Falcons in Atlanta.

Carolina's two wins this season have come against division opponents, winning home matchups against the Saints and Buccaneers. The NFC South is essentially an open race with no teams above .500 and the bottom two teams, Carolina and New Orleans, within one win of the top two teams, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. 

Here's what to know about the Falcons:


The Falcons like to run the ball, and their 33 rush attempts per game rank third in the NFL behind the Bears and Giants. They're fourth in the league averaging 156.9 rush yards per game. Atlanta has been without leading rusher Cordarrelle Patterson since Week 5. In the first four weeks, Patterson averaged 85 rush yards per game before a knee procedure placed him on injured reserve.

Patterson's injury left rookie Tyler Allgeier to pick up the bulk of the load, averaging 47.5 yards per game. He put up his first touchdown last week in a loss to Cincinnati.

Running back Caleb Huntley is another option for the Falcons, averaging 34.8 yards per game. Huntley popped in Atlanta's wins over Cleveland and San Francisco, totaling 56 yards on 10 carries against the Browns and 59 yards on 16 attempts against the 49ers. But he made a slim impact in the Falcons' most recent game, taking six carries for just 22 yards against the Bengals.

Drake London


Atlanta has been far from the league's most efficient passing offense, as quarterback Marcus Mariota leads the NFL's second-lowest effort in the passing game. The Falcons average 151.7 passing yards per game behind Mariota's 27th-ranked 61.3 completion percentage.

There are weapons to look out for in Atlanta, including rookie first-rounder Drake London, who leads the team with 315 yards this season. London averages 45 yards per game with two touchdowns. Wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus is just behind London, totaling 302 yards receiving with two touchdowns and a 43.1 average receiving yards per game.

Tight end Kyle Pitts hasn't quite burst onto the scene like he did last season as a rookie, tallying just one game with more than 25 receiving yards in Week 3 against the Seahawks. He has taken six receptions for 28 yards across the Falcons' last two matchups with the 49ers and Bengals combined, but the Pro Bowler has potential once he gets going.

Rashaan Evans


Atlanta could play without three starters in the secondary against the Panthers, which is a blow for a group the Falcons saw potential in heading into the year.

Atlanta has already ruled out starting safety Jaylinn Hawkins for the Carolina matchup after he left the Cincinnati game in concussion protocol. Head coach Arthur Smith is taking a day-to-day approach with cornerback Dee Alford, who didn't play in Cincinnati, and cornerback AJ Terrell, who went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter last week and didn't return. The Falcons already lost Pro Bowl corner Casey Hayward to a shoulder injury, as he was placed on injured reserve after Week 6.

The Falcons allow 306.6 pass yards per game on average, the most in the league, and they're one of the least efficient teams when it comes to rushing the passer, with a league-low 3.7 sack percentage and just 11 sacks on the year.

Atlanta has found more success stopping the run, allowing 100.3 yards per game on the ground.

The Falcons' most formidable tackler is linebacker Rashaan Evans, who leads the team with 64 tackles and two fumble recoveries on the year.

Carolina is 21-35 all-time against Atlanta dating all the way back to 1995.

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