Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers: Carolina Misses Chrisitan McCaffrey

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers prediction and pick for Week 8's NFC South matchup. NFL handicapper Jason Radowitz gives his pick here.
Jason Radowitz
Thu, October 28, 7:55 AM EDT

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers: Carolina Misses Chrisitan McCaffrey

The Carolina Panthers started the season 3-0. The Carolina fan base was talking about the postseason, and the media was hyping up Carolina as one of the most improved teams in football. So, of course, Carolina is now 3-4, without an injured Christian McCaffrey and Sam Darnold, who has started to struggle under center. Now the Panthers will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in a winnable game if anything. The Falcons are 3-3 on the year and needed a game-winning field goal to defeat a Miami Dolphins team last week, that just hasn't looked good at all this year. One thing is for sure; however, the Falcons will have the better quarterback and home-field advantage. How much could this affect the game on Sunday? Here are our picks and predictions for the Panthers vs. Falcons game on Sunday, October 31. 

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Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021

Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Where To Watch: FOX

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers INJURY REPORT

PANTHERS:

Questionable: CB C.J. Henderson (Shoulder), WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (Concussion), LB Shaq Thompson (foot)

Out: WR Brandon Zylstra (Hamstring), G John Miller (ankle), RB Christian McCaffrey (Hamstring), CB Jaycee Horn (Foot), CB Stephen Gilmore (Quadricep), G Deonte Brown (Knee), S Juston Burris (Groin)

FALCONS:

Questionable: S Erik Harris (Shoulder), CB A.J. Terrell (Neck)

Out: LB Dante Fowler Jr. (Knee)

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction

The Panthers clearly miss Christian McCaffrey. Since he's been gone, the offense just hasn't been the same. Sam Darnold is giving away the ball way more and now has more interceptions than touchdowns on the year. The Panthers have now been rumored to be looking for another quarterback as Darnold continues to struggle with plenty of solid receivers around him in Carolina. To Darnold's credit, the offensive line has struggled badly and really hasn't given Darnold a fair chance in the pocket. Despite all that, Darnold is a veteran at this point and knows better than to throw the ball to the other team when the pressure gets to him.

On the other hand, the Falcons have won three of their last four games and have a little bit of a passing game working with Matt Ryan. Ryan has thrown for 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions on the year, and the Falcons are averaging 278 yards per game in the air. The Panthers are capable of rushing the passer, and that's really the only thing they've done well defensively. You will find the Panthers missing plenty of tackles, and the rushing defense has not been good at all. Therefore, I'll roll with the Falcons at home. They're not a playoff team, but after winning three of their last four, I can trust them a bit more than Carolina. The Atlanta defense is allowing 29.3 points per game, but the Panthers offense won't be able to achieve anywhere close to that number on the road. 

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers Pick

Jason Radowitz
@Jason_Radowitz
Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.
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