Previewing how the Panthers stack up against NFC South rivals in 2020

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
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Atlanta Falcons 2020 team preview

The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2019 season 7-9 which was good enough for second place in the NFC South division. They started to play really well towards the end of the year finishing the season winners of four straight. The team also went 4-2 in their six divisional matchups.

The story with the Falcons in recent years is their inability to stay healthy. They also lack a dominant defense,  which leaves them relying on their high-powered offense to win games.

The biggest move that Atlanta made this offseason was signing former All-Pro running back Todd Gurley to replace the longtime starter, Devonta Freeman. Freeman was an excellent runner for years but at this stage in both players’ careers, Gurley looks to be an upgrade.

The Falcons also swapped out the tight end position by moving on from Austin Hooper in favor of former Baltimore Raven Hayden Hurst. Atlanta focused on improving the defense in the 2020 NFL Draft. First-round pick A.J. Terrell figures to help out from day one. The former Clemson Tiger played against some of the best receivers in the SEC in his college career. He should be able to step in and contribute right away.

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Realistically, the Falcons are still probably an 8-8 kind of team. They certainly have the talent to make a run at the playoffs if they are able to have their key players stay healthy over the course of the season. Still, it will be tough for them to win the division because of the improvement the Saints and Buccaneers made in the offseason.