The Falcons, coming off a loss to the Houston Texans in which only 10 points were scored by the offense, simply had one of those days where almost nobody showed up. The only two excluded from that conversation would be Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, who both had fine games (minus one or two Roddy drops).
But for the rest of the offense, this week's matchup against the Panthers has the stage set for some redemption. Under Mike Smith, the Falcons have rarely (if ever) lost two games in a row, and Carolina will march a significantly less threatening defense onto the field this Sunday.
Now onto the projections courtesy of numberFire.com, along with some favorable stats for the Falcons:
The Houston Texans, as I mentioned last week, are fielding a top-tier defense on a certainly came as-advertised in their matchup with Atlanta. They've held opposing QBs to a league-low 60.7 passer rating this season, along with the No. 4 rushing D.
But as we know from the last meeting, the Panthers don't have nearly that caliber of a defense. Opposing quarterbacks have put up a much friendlier 94.9 rating against Carolina, and they still struggle against the run, allowing 132.5 rushing yards per game this season. That's good news for Michael Turner owners, who watched helplessly as the Falcons running back couldn't even muster 50 yards against the Texans last week.
However, it's also worth noting that the Panthers have played much better as of late. They've been winning, and managed to hold the Bucs' LeGarrette Blount to a mere 19 yards on 11 carries (but with Josh Johnson under center for Tampa Bay, so maybe we should just not count that one?).
That said, look for your every-week Falcons starters to fare much better this Sunday than last. And for those of you who started Ryan last week, I am deeply sorry. You should have bailed at the last minute and started Lord Tebow as I did; TOTAL QBR, football intelligence and common sense be damned!
But look on the bright side Ryan fans: at least Cam Newton isn't universally recognized as a better fantasy option than Matt Rya- oh wait, yes he is. Welcome to Bizarro World.