Carolina Panthers Week 14 keys to victory vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Carolina Panthers travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons after a devastating loss to the Redskins at home last week.
The Panthers will take on the Falcons in Week 14 with interim head coach Perry Fewell taking over after Ron Rivera was fired following the tough loss to the Washington Redskins.
The 5-7 Panthers are not yet mathematically eliminated from playoff contention but after four straight losses, they are looking at a nearly impossible road to get there.
The 3-9 Falcons have been eliminated from a possible playoff spot, however, they have been playing better as of late.
The first time these two teams met the Falcons crushed the Panthers 29-3 in Charlotte.
Carolina will look to even the season series against Atlanta and keep their desperate hopes at a wildcard playoff spot alive.
Read on to see what Cat Crave believes will be the three keys to a Panthers road win against the Falcons.
Key No. 1: Kyle Allen must protect the football
Quarterback Kyle Allen threw four interceptions back when the Panthers and Falcons met in Week 11.
Allen was 31-for-50 passing the ball for 325 yards in the matchup. 50 passing attempts are way too many for Allen in one game. Unfortunately, the Panthers were forced to throw the ball so much because they got behind by 20 points in the first half.
If Allen is even close to 50 attempts, then Carolina is unlikely to win the game. Allen has been a very decent starting quarterback this season since he filled in for the injured Cam Newton back in Week 3, but he is at his best when the running game is the focal point of the offense.
Talent-wise, this is a very even matchup. Allen cannot turn the football over multiple times and expect to come out with a win in Atlanta.
Key No. 2: Panthers offensive line must protect Kyle Allen
Kyle Allen was sacked five times for a total of 55 lost yards in the first matchup against the Falcon’s defense.
This definitely contributed to Allen’s four interceptions as nothing forces a quarterback to make poor decisions like getting consistently pressured does.
However, The Panther’s offensive line isn’t all to blame because, as mentioned before, the 50 dropbacks Allen took were just way too many.
The games the Falcons have been able to win have been because of their pass rush. It’s how they beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints back in Week 10 and how they beat Carolina the week after.
The Panthers need to be aware of this and have the protection in place to keep Allen clean in the pocket. Even if this means keeping running back Christian McCaffrey back to block on passing plays.
Key No. 3: Panthers defense must contain Falcons’ wide receivers
The Falcons have arguably the best wide receiver duo in the entire NFL with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
Both are currently listed as questionable on this week’s injury report but are expected to be able to play in Sunday’s game.
The dangerous receivers scorched the Panther’s secondary in Week 11. Ridley caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. Jones caught six for 91 yards.
Carolina cannot allow this game to turn into a shoot out. If Jones and Ridley are able to get open and put up similar numbers as they did back in the first meeting, then the Panthers will likely have to play from behind again which is something that didn’t work out too well last time.