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Falcons face easy road this week against Panthers

US PRESSWIRE

Following Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Carolina Panthers abandoned their last semblance of hope for the 2012 season, instead opting for the 'see what sticks' part of their NFL season. Whether for the current coaching staff, or a new set -- Carolina have moved forward electing to see what their youth can offer, which affords the Atlanta Falcons a rare opportunity in the NFL... a breather.

Yesterday afternoon Carolina made eight roster moves, shuffling players onto injured reserve, promoting others to their 53-man roster, and even adding a defensive end to their active roster from Washington's practice squad. None of these moves were particular needs, but rather represented a shift in philosophy towards the future, rather than the present. It's the first sign of apathy from a Panthers' squad who have otherwise been publicly preaching a 'never give up' mentality in the media.

Falcons fans have a right to be excited. Last week Carolina were unable to stop the run, and made Brady Quinn look like a probowler, as he completed 82% of his passes. With starting nose tackle Ron Edwards now on injured reserve, a strong back like Michael Turner should have a field day. Then you have Matt Ryan, who should completely decimate a woefully unprepared Panthers' secondary.

Could it be a trap game? Perhaps, but this is shaping up to be a beatdown on Sunday.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.