|Last 3 Games||3-0||+3||1-1||0-3||23.3||14.3||353.7||(5.8)||3.0||18.3||11.0||313.3||(5.3)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||26.4||15.1||21.7||31:10||24-91||(3.8)||26-38||67.5%||286||(7.4)||63-377||(6)||(14.3)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24.8||12.4||20.4||31:34||28-119||(4.3)||22-35||62.6%||249||(7.2)||62-367||(5.9)||(14.8)|
|Offense Road Games||28.7||16.3||23.8||32:42||26-93||(3.6)||28-39||71.6%||316||(8)||65-408||(6.3)||(14.2)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.1||10.4||18.5||28:50||25-121||(4.8)||20-33||61.2%||231||(6.9)||59-352||(6)||(18.5)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.4||10.7||20.1||30:57||26-109||(4.2)||22-36||61.7%||248||(6.8)||62-358||(5.8)||(16)|
|Defense Road Games||19.2||10.3||17.7||27:18||24-114||(4.7)||20-32||61.7%||223||(6.9)||56-337||(6)||(17.6)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.1||0.3||1.4||0.6||13-6||45.6%||0-0||0.0%||1-39||(26.3)||2-12||(7.8)||4-28|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.7||13-5||38.9%||1-0||51.2%||2-53||(23.2)||22-2||(9.6)||6-53|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.7||0.3||1.0||0.7||14-7||54.9%||0-0||0.0%||1-42||(27.9)||1-11||(7.3)||3-25|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.3||0.7||2.0|| ||12-5||38.6%||0-0||40.0%||3-71||(23.1)||2-17||(9)||6-48|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.9||0.7||1.6|| ||13-5||37.9%||1-0||51.3%||3-60||(23.3)||18-2||(8.6)||7-55|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.2||0.5||1.7|| ||11-5||44.9%||0-0||33.3%||3-73||(21.8)||1-9||(7)||4-30|
|Last 3 Games||1-2||-2.3||1-2||3-0||24.0||14.0||371.3||(6.4)||0.3||25.3||14.0||356.3||(5.7)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||19.6||10.1||19.3||28:17||27-113||(4.2)||17-30||57.7%||231||(7.7)||57-344||(6)||(17.5)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.5||11.7||19.8||30:44||26-111||(4.3)||22-35||62.1%||249||(7.1)||61-359||(5.9)||(16)|
|Offense Home Games||17.2||8.7||18.8||27:54||26-104||(4)||17-31||56.0%||211||(6.9)||57-315||(5.6)||(18.3)|
|Defense (All Games)||24.3||11.7||21.2||32:05||29-129||(4.4)||23-34||67.3%||219||(6.5)||63-348||(5.5)||(14.3)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24.3||11.4||20.4||31:39||28-120||(4.3)||21-34||62.5%||242||(7.1)||62-362||(5.9)||(14.9)|
|Defense Home Games||26.8||11.5||21.5||32:49||29-117||(4)||26-38||67.2%||262||(6.9)||67-379||(5.6)||(14.1)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.8||0.7||1.5||0.0||12-5||38.9%||1-0||14.3%||3-59||(22.2)||2-13||(7)||6-54|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.6||1.7||2.1||13-5||39.1%||1-0||47.0%||3-58||(23.4)||19-2||(9.4)||6-54|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.0||1.2||2.2||-0.3||12-4||32.4%||1-0||0.0%||3-70||(21)||2-14||(6.3)||6-48|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.7||0.8||1.5|| ||13-5||38.0%||1-1||53.8%||2-43||(17.9)||3-25||(9.7)||5-42|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||13-5||39.4%||1-0||59.5%||3-58||(22.9)||18-2||(8.8)||6-51|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.0||0.8||1.8|| ||14-6||43.0%||1-0||25.0%||2-33||(19.8)||3-39||(11)||5-46|
|Average power rating of opponents played: ATLANTA 18.2, CAROLINA 21.6|
|11/11/2012||@ NEW ORLEANS||27-31||L||-2||L||53.5||O||18-46||34-52-408||1||29-148||21-32-292||1|
|11/25/2012||@ TAMPA BAY||24-23||W||-1||T||51||U||24-79||26-32-345||2||21-50||20-31-276||0|
|12/9/2012||@ CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||NY GIANTS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2012||@ DETROIT|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/2/2012||@ KANSAS CITY||21-27||L||-5.5||L||41.5||O||22-165||15-27-220||0||43-158||19-23-197||0|
|12/9/2012||ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/16/2012||@ SAN DIEGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||OAKLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||@ NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|ATLANTA: New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn't nearly as run-happy as departed play-caller Mike Mularkey, so this offense won't be nearly as ground-heavy as it's been in recent seasons. Atlanta was largely a man-blocking team under Mularkey, but Koetter runs a mix of man and zone, requiring an adjustment for the offensive line. As for the backs, Michael Turner is declining, and Jacquizz Rodgers has carved out a role as a change-of-pace back who will get the ball in a variety of ways. Koetter coached 5-foot-6 Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville, and while MJD is thicker, Koetter won't hesitate to use the 5-foot-6 Rodgers. Koetter tends to not mess around with a lot of play-action in the red zone, so near the goal line is where Turner will continue to earn his money. Koetter likes to get his receivers stretching the field, especially on play-action, and he's always been able to find ways to get the ball to his tight ends, which is good news for Tony Gonzalez. Roddy White should again be Matt Ryan's No. 1 target, and Julio Jones will be targeted more frequently downfield. One of Koetter's biggest challenges is to improve the screen game, which was non-existent in Atlanta. That's why Rodgers could be in for a much bigger role. He also plans on utilizing the no-huddle offense that the Falcons used effectively at times last year. The Falcons have a decent overall defense, but they lost their middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to the Saints. He'll be replaced by Sean Weatherspoon, who displayed outstanding range on the outside last season, but may take some time to adjust to the new role. The addition of CB Asante Samuel instantly improves Atlanta's secondary because he has the ability to make opposing quarterbacks pay for trying to avoid throwing at Brent Grimes, who is also an opportunistic playmaker capable of covering No. 1 receivers. DE John Abraham was the only player to surpass four sacks last season. Abraham can't keep his 10-sack production up forever, but he's still a solid tackler who has the ability to pop the football loose. Expect another productive season from the 34-year-old. |
|CAROLINA: While the Panthers are extremely run-heavy, that shouldn't be confused with being conservative. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski implemented a unique running game that is traditional about two-thirds of the time, with the rest of the playbook being option plays for Cam Newton. Their running back rotation is tough to figure out, as last year DeAngelo Williams started, Jonathan Stewart played more reps, but Williams had more carries. The Panthers insist that Mike Tolbert will primarily be a fullback, though he'll surely play in some single-back sets. The Panthers are content to let Newton create in the red zone, as he was by far their most often-used weapon deep in opponent territory (10 more red-zone carries than Carolina's running backs combined). Chudzinski's offense is rooted in the big play, which is why it suits Newton so well. Besides giving him some space to improvise, Newton's first read is almost always Steve Smith downfield, and he'll force throws to him. While Brandon LaFell became more involved in the offense, especially after overtaking Legedu Naanee late in the year, Newton rarely got past his second read, which was to come down to Greg Olsen in the middle of the field or whichever back is in the game. Expect LaFell to be more involved as Newton grows more comfortable running the offense in his second NFL season. Carolina ranked 27th in scoring defense and 28th in total defense in 2011, and still needs a ton of work. But selecting LB tackling machine Luke Kuechly ninth overall was a nice upgrade'with Kuechly and Jon Beason at linebacker, Charles Johnson will be freed up to do what he does best, which is rush the quarterback. Expect at least a dozen sacks and an uptick in tackles this coming season. Also expect more from Greg Hardy, who saw a rise in his tackle numbers from 2010 to '11, and his sack total should jump with Carolina expected to abandon the hybrid 3-4 the team employed at times last year. Beason will likely play the weak side, as he did in 2010. Charles Godfrey, who has excellent range for a strong safety, should once again anchor the secondary. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (ATLANTA-CAROLINA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Falcons-Panthers Preview* ==========================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
While the Atlanta Falcons wrapped up the NFC South title last week, they have their eyes set on a larger goal.
Hoping to inch closer to securing the conference's No. 1 seed, the visiting Falcons try for a sixth consecutive victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
While Atlanta (11-1) is usually led by an offense that ranks seventh in the league in scoring at 26.4 points, it was a superb defensive display that helped the team pull out a 23-13 win over New Orleans last Thursday. MVP candidate Matt Ryan completed 18 of 33 passes for a season-low 165 yards and touchdown, but the Falcons intercepted Drew Brees five times to lock up their second division crown in three seasons.
"We've won the division before, so it's not that big of a deal," wideout Roddy White said. "When coach said, 'Congratulations,' nobody was woo-wooing or nothing like that, which is good."
The Falcons, who sit 2 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco in the conference standings, could potentially clinch a first-round bye and also home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win Sunday coupled with a few unlikely scenarios.
"You have to be happy with where you're at right now, but ultimately it's all about finishing it," linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. "We set our goals high. That's just part of the step, so now it's on to the next part."
While it's hard to make a case against the Falcons right now, their recent postseason efforts are hard to overlook. Atlanta hasn't won a playoff game since 2004, going one-and-done in its last three appearances.
"We don't worry about it," said Ryan, who had four straight 300-yard games before last week. "We try not to think that far ahead. One of the things I've learned in my five years is that if you're worrying about what you're going to do in January in September, October, November and December, you're wasting your time.
"I've tried to keep that week-to-week focus, but at the same time, we've had some sour tastes in our mouths at the end of the last couple of seasons. So hopefully we'll have an opportunity to change that."
The Falcons have had their way with the Panthers (3-9) of late, scoring at least 30 points in winning each of the last five meetings. Ryan has 11 touchdowns to two interceptions for a 103.9 passer rating during the run, and Michael Turner is averaging 99.4 rushing yards with seven total touchdowns.
The first meeting of the season, though, came down to the wire. Atlanta drove 77 yards in five plays to set up Matt Bryant's 40-yard field-goal with five seconds remaining, lifting the Falcons to a 30-28 victory in Week 4.
The defeat still irritates Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who said Wednesday, "We owe them something and it is coming."
Hardy also said the Panthers are a better team than Atlanta.
The loss at the Georgia Dome in September, was one of seven Carolina defeats by six points or less. The Panthers came up short again last Sunday, falling 27-21 at an emotional Kansas City team that played despite the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide a day earlier.
"You definitely feel for them. What they are going through is tragic," said tight end Greg Olsen, whose only reception went for a 47-yard score. "But we have a job to do. Our job is to come here and prepare to win. They wouldn't expect any less."
Cam Newton continued his impressive play with 232 passing yards and a season-high three touchdowns, and ran seven times for another 78 yards. Newton has eight total TDs - two rushing - and no interceptions over his last three games.
"His outlook on things, the way he perceives things and the way he's handled himself the last few weeks has been outstanding," coach Ron Rivera said. "He's played very well and given us chances to win. We have to take advantage of that."
Although Newton is playing well, the Panthers have allowed an average of 30.0 points in their last three losses. Things aren't about to get any easier after placing defensive end Antwan Applewhite and free safety Sherrod Martin on injured reserve Tuesday.
"It is about trying to win these football games and trending up. That's pretty much it," Rivera said. "We've got an opportunity to play Atlanta and later to play New Orleans - teams in our division - and those are opportunities to send messages and show what we can do.
"That's why we're playing, and we'll go out and play hard."
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 3:54:20 AM EST|