Carolina Panthers (14-0) at Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
|Date & Time||Sunday December 27, 2015, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Atlanta Falcons +7 -- Over/Under: 47
The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons meet Sunday in a key NFC South game at the Georgia Dome.
The Carolina Panthers hope to win what would be their 19th straight regular season game. Cam Newton is completing 58.8 percent of his passes for 3,402 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Newton has 13 touchdown passes in his last three games. Greg Olsen and Ted Ginn Jr. have combined for 1,778 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns while Jerricho Cotchery has 33 receptions. The Carolina Panthers ground game is averaging 144 yards per contest, and Jonathan Stewart leads the way with 989 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Carolina is allowing 19.9 points and 314.9 yards per game. Luke Kuechly leads the Panthers with 101 tackles, Kawann Short has nine sacks and Josh Norman has 16 pass deflections. Colin Jones, Jonathan Stewart and Brenton Bersin are questionable.
The Atlanta Falcons hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with an upset victory here. Matt Ryan is completing 65.7 percent of his passes for 3,951 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Ryan has two touchdown passes in his last three games. Julio Jones and Jacob Tamme have combined for 2,111 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Roddy White has 37 receptions. The Atlanta Falcons ground game is averaging 103 yards per contest, and Devonta Freeman leads the way with 907 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, Atlanta is allowing 22.3 points and 349.4 yards per game. Paul Worrilow leads the Falcons with 86 tackles, Robert Alford has 12 pass deflections and Kroy Biermann has two sacks. Paul Worrilow is questionable with a knee injury.
The Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. NFC. The Falcons are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 16 and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Atlanta and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings overall.
The Falcons are still playing for something with their slim playoff hopes on the line, but let’s be honest, their chances of beating the red hot Panthers may be even slimmer. In the last two meetings between these two teams, the Panthers have outscored the Falcons 72-3.
Even with a free touchdown on the table, I have to side with the Panthers here.