Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy recently made some waves when he said that Carolina was better than the Atlanta Falcons. Naturally, those quotes reached the Falcons' locker room, but most players, including tight end Tony Gonzalez, just laughed off Hardy's bravado (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution):
"What else is he going to say at this point? They haven't won that many games," Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said. "And you know they are going to compete. They always compete. That's part of the fun. That's why we play the game. We have got to go out there and see if we can prove him wrong."
Hardy's statements certainly come off as laughable considering the records of the two teams. Atlanta sits on top of the NFC with a sterling 11-1 record, while Carolina is a 3-9 cellar dweller. However, the Panthers are not quite as bad as their record shows, because they have lost numerous close games.
Furthermore, the Falcons did get taken to the wire by the Panthers in Week 4, ultimately pulling out a 30-28 victory thanks to a last-minute field goal by Matt Bryant. Carolina rushed for 199 yards in that game and sacked Matt Ryan seven times, who created a stir with the Panthers by yelling, "Get the (bleep) off our field!" after the victory.