Kaleb McGary – OT
During the draft, Atlanta traded back into the first-round in order to get right tackle Kaleb McGary. This required the sacrifice of picks from rounds two and three, but may be well worth it. McGary has started all nine games for the Falcons this season and so far he has been quite reliable as a rookie. He has only allowed five sacks this year which is only two more than the Panthers Taylor Moton. This week he will be able to test his mettle against former Falcons pass rusher, Bruce Irvin.
McGary did a good job of holding back Marcus Davenport last week, but he’ll have to step his game up on Sunday against a tougher front with Irvin breathing down his neck. The Panthers have made a point to improve their run defense and we can bet that part of it will include making life difficult for one Mr. McGary. It will be interesting to see if the Panthers can close down the right side of the Falcons rushing attack with Devonta Freeman possibly being out and the rookie tackle going toe-to-toe with an eighth-year veteran.