4 pivotal Carolina Panthers storylines to watch at Falcons in Week 8

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
1 of 4

What are some pivotal storylines to monitor when the Carolina Panthers take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium?

There is growing belief across the Carolina Panthers after attaining their opening victory under interim head coach Steve Wilks last weekend. Things are still teetering right on the edge of failure for this talented group, but triumphing at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8 would unbelievably see them in sole possession of first in a weak-looking NFC South division.

That’s remarkable considering the Panthers fired Matt Rhule after Week 5 and traded two offensive weapons in Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson shortly after. But it’s provided hope when all seemed lost just a fortnight ago.

Carolina is a 4.0-point underdog for the game according to FanDuel Sportsbook. However, divisional games seem to be bringing the best out of them, and the added incentive of gaining ascendancy could be enough to see them emerge with another notable success.

With that being said, we picked out four pivotal storylines to watch in Week 8.

Storyline No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Austin Corbett /

Carolina Panthers OL vs. Grady Jarrett

For all that Atlanta Falcons’ struggles against the pass, they are a commanding force on running downs thanks to the presence of stud defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. A true difference-maker on the interior that can completely take over a game if afforded enough space.

Thankfully for the Carolina Panthers, their offensive line is improving with every contest. This bears more significance on the interior, with Brady Christensen, Bradley Bozeman, and Austin Corbett completely dominating a stout Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive front last time out.

Coping with Jarrett will be difficult. But it’s nothing this trio isn’t more than capable of based on their performance levels to date.