By Michael Brennan
Sunday’s matchup between the Panthers and Falcons is a tale of two different teams. Atlanta has prevailed in each of their first three games and has emerged as one of the best teams in the NFL; meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers are recovering from a thumping at home and are still struggling to find their identity amid conflict in the locker room.
Matt Ryan has led the Falcons to consecutive playoff appearances over the past three years but has felt the scrutiny for his inability to capitalize during those chances throughout the offseason. This season however, Ryan owns the league’s best passer rating and has his sights set on longevity in the postseason.
The critically acclaimed Cam Newton has struggled greatly in his first three games. Newton was overwhelmed last week against the New York Giants when he was intercepted three times and eventually replaced by backup quarterback, Derek Anderson.
The matchup for Sunday will be held in the Georgia Dome, one of the more difficult places to play if you’re on the opposing team.
Look for Atlanta to disguise the pressure to continue Newton’s imbalance on offense. Atlanta will boast their impressive aerial attack over the Carolina secondary that has been a point of speculation in the season so far. Carolina will continue to be tested on offense and defense for the remainder of the season with more highly-touted teams on their calendar.