Falcons vs. Panthers: 8 takeaways from Week 8

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The Atlanta Falcons are 3-4 following Sunday’s 19-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers. We’ve see consistent improvement from the team since its 0-2 start, but Week 8 was step back. It was the Falcons’ second NFC South loss, however, there are still 10 games remaining so it’s too early to write them off just yet.

Here are eight takeaways from Atlanta’s Week 8 matchup against Carolina.

Ridley's surprise absence

After returning to the team in Week 7 following a one-game absence, Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley was a late scratch for personal reasons. We hope everything is alright with the team’s former first-round pick. Ridley posted a message on social media during the fourth quarter of the game thanking the fans and the organization for their understanding while he steps away to deal with his mental well-being.

Ryan's bloody Halloween

Ryan’s hand appeared to be stepped on and it wouldn’t stop bleeding during a Falcons drive.. It was probably no coincidence the former MVP threw an interception shortly after his hand injury. After the game, Ryan said it was just a cut and shouldn’t be an issue going forward.

Falcons O-line struggles vs. Panthers front seven

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Coming into the game, the Falcons’ offensive line was playing some of its best football, but facing a hellacious Panthers front-seven, this group was thoroughly outmatched on Sunday. Matt Ryan took a beating and the running game only accounted for 82 yards. The offensive line allowed three sacks and several more hits on Ryan.

Kyle Pitts has quiet day

(AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Pitts was targeted six times on the afternoon, but he finished with just two catches for 13 yards. The offense failed to get the ball in his hands and it didn’t help that the other receivers did very little to take the pressure off. Still, following two 100-yard outings, Pitts’ performance was a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully he can bounce back in Week 9.

Davis runs hard against former team

(AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Davis racked up over 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2020 with the Panthers, and signed a one-year deal with Atlanta over the offseason. Facing his former team, Davis didn’t have a ton of running room but still averaged 4.9 yards per carry. He may not be the long-term option, but you can see why Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot targeted the physical running back in the offseason.

Patterson continues to do it all

Patterson should seriously consider asking for a raise. In a game where Calvin Ridley was a late scratch, Patterson stepped up as he has all season. His 15-yard touchdown catch from Matt Ryan in the second quarter was the team’s only touchdown of the game. Patterson is dynamic not only due to his insane athleticism, but his toughness as a runner is truly underrated.

NFC South standings

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Falcons dropped back to the bottom of the NFC South standings with Sunday’s loss. At 3-4, Atlanta’s loss hurts even more with the Saints winning their third straight and the Panthers ending a four-game skid. There’s plenty of football left to be played, however, the Falcons will have to again work their way out of the NFC South basement.

What's next?

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The Falcons take on the Saints this Sunday in another NFC South matchup. In Week 8, New Orleans took down Tampa Bay, but also lost quarterback Jameis Winston in the process. If Atlanta gets to see Trevor Siemian at QB, there chances of winning are undoubtedly higher, even if Siemian played well on Sunday. The Saints are 5-2 following Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers.

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