Carolina Panthers Look to Avenge Week 8 Loss to Atlanta Falcons on ‘Thursday Night Football’

Posted on: November 10, 2022, 06:43h. 

Last updated on: November 10, 2022, 03:59h.

Week 10 of the NFL will kick off with another matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte tonight. It’s an NFC South rematch between two teams with losing records.

Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Rashaan Evans sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker. The two teams meet on Thursday Night Football. (Image: USA Today)

Carolina occupies the basement with two wins and seven losses. The Falcons share the division lead with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the 4-5 record for both teams shows the magnitude of the NFC slump.

Of the 16 teams in the NFC, 10 have breakeven or losing records. In contrast, seven of the AFC teams are in the hole. Slightly more than halfway through the season, the standings don’t reflect what analysts predicted back in August.

Carolina was pitiful last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, allowing 35 unanswered points in the first half alone. The Panthers changed QBs for the second half, replacing starter P.J. Walker, who went just 3 for 10 for a total of nine yards, with Baker Mayfield. After the game, Walker said his “boneheaded mistakes” cost the team.

  Falcons Panthers
Moneyline -145 +122
Spread -2.5 (-120) +2.5 (+100)
Over/under O42.5 (-110) U42.5 (-110)
  Courtesy of Caesars  

Despite Mayfield picking up 155 yards and two TDs last week, he’s not starting on Thursday. Interim head coach Steve Wilks announced that Walker will receive a chance to redeem himself.

The Fight Continues 

The Panthers have entered a clear reconstruction process so that this team can fight again next year. That includes firing their head coach and several members of the special teams and defensive coaching staff. It also includes sending Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, where he’s already making an impact.

The Falcons are fighting for the top of the NFC South. Their last game against the LA Chargers got out of hand, even though they had a couple of opportunities to take control. Ultimately, they couldn’t figure out how to take advantage in the game and lost 20-17.

The Falcons haven’t put up impressive numbers, but the offense under QB Marcus Mariota has had another dimension. So far this season, he’s completed 61.7% of his passes for 1,561 yards and has picked up 10 touchdowns.

His six interceptions this season have also been costly, and his poor performance against the Chargers, where he only had 129 yards and didn’t add a single TD, was less than inspiring.

Atlanta Should Fly High

The Falcons have dominated this series with a record of 35 wins and 20 losses. They’ve also taken three of the last five games, including their ridiculous OT win in Week 8. The Panthers had two golden opportunities to secure the win in that game but screwed up both.

On a game-winning Hail Mary, Carolina tied the score but received a penalty that pushed back the extra point attempt by 15 yards. Eddy Pineiro then botched the point after that and would have won the game.

In OT, the Panthers were in control from the start. They only needed to connect on a field goal to win a hard-fought game. Pineiro could have been their savior, but he missed an easy 33-yard attempt. The Falcons took over and won by a field goal.

Those misses will ring loud and heavy on Thursday night. Adding to their difficulties, the Panthers have a laundry list of injuries on both sides of the ball.

Backing the Falcons is the consensus among sports bettors, but the 42 over/under is questionable. Charlotte is looking at rain and high winds on Thursday night, which means an aerial assault by either team isn’t likely. Ground games chew up the clock more, and Carolina hasn’t shown that it can mount a strong ground attack.