Atlanta Falcons-Carolina Panthers Preview, Week 11 NFL Picks

Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons, still riding the high of the beatdown of the New Orleans Saints last week, will have another NFC South rival this week, the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons will be looking to build off the momentum from last week’s win.

Going into last week’s game, the Atlanta Falcons were looking for their first win since September, when the Falcons took down the Eagles at home. In New Orleans, the prospects of Atlanta getting a win seemed bleak. However, despite all the negativity surrounding the Falcons, the team played an inspired game, beating the Saints in a surprising blowout.

With the Panthers still looking for a playoff spot, with their current record at 5-4, Carolina will be looking to forget the last week’s loss in Green Bay to get back on track to their goals of a playoff spot. It’s possible Carolina could fight their way back into NFC South contention, but with the Saints running away with the division it’s looking more and more unlikely. The Panthers will have to compete with a slew of other NFC contenders for the final two Wild Card spots.

With the Falcons playing spoiler at this point of the season, they have the chance, similar to last week, completely surprise a good team by winning, something that didn’t look possible for this Falcons team the previous two months. With that said, the Panthers saw what the Falcons did to the Saints last week so I don’t expect the Panthers to be caught off guard this week.

Led by Kyle Allen and Christian McCaffery, the Carolina Panthers have a potent offense with a stout defense to match. The Falcons won’t have an easy time moving the ball or stopping the ball against this Carolina team. With that said, the Falcons did shut down the Saints last week, allowing zero touchdowns and sacking Drew Brees six times!! If the Falcons get another performance from their defense, Allen could struggle this Sunday.

It’s official, Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman will not be playing on Sunday. Hooper, having the best season of his career, has been a safety blanket for Matt Ryan most of the season. Missing Hooper and Sanu, who was traded a few weeks ago, will challenge Ryan to not force the ball to Julio Jones all day and look for different ways to get the offense moving. Don’t be surprised to see Calvin Ridley or Russell Gage put up some big numbers this Sunday.

Even though the season is lost, it was so nice to see the Atlanta Falcons win last week against the hated New Orleans Saints. It’s easy to assume the Falcons carry that momentum into this Sunday’s game, but it’s unrealistic to expect that with what the norm has been for the Falcons this season. It’s no mistake this Atlanta team is 2-7 going into Week 11. They earned their record, but that doesn’t mean they won’t turn it around late this season. If the Falcons can find a way to shock another NFC South rival, a little more hope will surface around this Falcons team. Let’s go Falcons!

Week 11 Picks

Season Record: 22-23

New Orleans(-5.5) over Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay won a shootout with the Cardinals while the Saints were having their manhood questioned against the Atlanta Falcons last week. So, naturally, I expect the Bucs to have a letdown in this game, which is at home. New Orleans has no chance to lose two games in a row, especially to the Falcons(sorry Falcons fans) and Bucs. If that does happen, there will be chaos in New Orleans. On second thought, GO BUCS!!!!!

Indianapolis(-3) over Jacksonville

Jacoby is back!! Colts fans will be happy to hear that. Big Dick Nick Foles is also back! Will Jags fans be happy? Well, to find out all the Jags fans will have to pull themselves out of that human cesspool swimming pool. Take the Colts.

Houston(+4) over Baltimore

Two of the most dynamic, most exciting QBs in the entire league. DeShaun Watson, in my opinion, is still the better QB, but Lamar Jackson is making up more and more ground by the week. The Ravens are riding a big high, and this game is in Baltimore, but I like the Texans to steal one from the Ravens here. Easily, the game of the week right here.

Philadelphia(+4) over New England

The Eagles are at home and the Pats are just okay. It’s probably not smart to pick against the Pats after their bye week, but have you seen my record? I’m not great at picking games, as one Swamp Creature let me know last week. Go away Saints fans!! But thanks for the read, too. Sorry, take the Eagles. They need the win more.

LA Rams(-6) over Chicago

To steal from Bill Simmons, this the loser leaves town game. The Rams screwed my pick last week by losing to the Steelers led by Mason Rudolph! However, this is the Bears coming to LA with Mitch Tribusky or Chase Daniel. If Sean McVay loses this game, be on the lookout for him dragging a bloody sack out of the stadium that may or may not contain Jared Goff’s corpse. Go Rams!