To say the Carolina Panthers are under fire only three weeks into the regular season would be a massive understatement. After a horrid loss to the New York Giants during week three of the regular season, the Carolina Panthers find themselves heading into an NFC South showdown with the Atlanta Falcons. Did I mention the Falcons are considered by many to be the best team in the NFL so far in 2012? As a huge Carolina Panthers fan, there are plenty of reasons why I am not feeling very confident about week four against this Falcon team.
Matt Ryan is playing like a man possessed
It pains me to say anything good about my hated rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, but Matt Ryan is playing like an MVP. The guy has been nearly perfect and the Falcons are good enough in other areas to make that a nearly unbeatable combination. The Panthers are going to need Ryan to flinch to have any real chance against the Falcons.
Cam Newton is going through some growing pains
I fully expected Newton to have some growing pains in 2012, but I am a bit surprised they are showing up so early. With such a tough early schedule, I suppose I should have seen it coming. Newton has had a very inconsistent start to the season and it is showing on his face. Steve Smith went off on him a bit to try to stem the tide, but nobody really knows how he will respond. I pray it is in a positive way, or this will be a very long season.
The turnover numbers are scary
When Cam Newton throws an interception, the Panthers lose. The Atlanta Falcons are showing some serious skills in the secondary of late and that concerns me as well. If Newton does not protect the football against the Falcons, we will not have a chance to win the game at all. Of late the interceptions seem to be snowballing on him so stopping that will be tough.
As scary as all of these things above sound, Cam Newton could come out and play like a man possessed. He has done it before and we should not be too shocked if that happens. The truth is, however, that the Falcons are playing too well right now. They are tough enough to beat when they are playing badly when we travel to Atlanta. I think the Falcons will beat us in a tighter contest than most are expecting.
My game score prediction:
Atlanta Falcons 28 Carolina Panthers 21
*Southern is a huge Carolina Panthers fan that is convinced that he will see a Super Bowl Trophy in Charlotte within five years.
More from this contributor:
- Why the First Five Games Are Vital to the Carolina Panthers in 2012: Fan's Opinion
- Three Major Problems for the 2012 Carolina Panthers Entering the Final Preseason Game: Fan's View
- Five Positives for the Carolina Panthers After Beating the New York Jets: 2012 NFL Preseason Fan's Take
- Carolina Panthers Rookie Josh Norman Backing Up His Trash Talking: Fan's Opinion
- Grading the Rookies for the Carolina Panthers After Preseason Week One: Fan's Opinion
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