Adding fuel to the fire by spouting off trash talk to the media before a division game is never something a lot of fans will object to. They like confident players who think they can beat any opponent, no matter how good the other team is. But Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy might have been a little too confident when he told the media he believes the Panthers are a better team than the Atlanta Falcons.
Hardy was apparently given several chances to either take back or clarify his statement. The defensive end stood by it though, saying he "doesn't like the team down the street."
Based solely on their records, Hardy is way off-base. The 11-1 Falcons have already sown up a playoff spot and, at 3-9, the Panthers are almost mathematically eliminated from the postseason. In their previous meeting this season, it took two Matt Bryant field goals in the fourth quarter, including one with just five seconds to go in the game, for the Falcons to emerge victorious, 30-28, in Atlanta.
The Falcons and Panthers will meet for the again this Sunday, this time in Charlotte for a 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff.