Welcome to the pre-game, quick hit, stats-apalooza. This is a broad, statistical overview of the current Atlanta Falcons' opponent. This week, it's the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers will fly 222 miles Southwest to play the Falcons at the Georgia Dome. This game is the second of a possible four straight home games for the Falcons. A win here clinches the NFC's top seed and would assure the Falcons would be playing at home until the Super Bowl. In the meantime though, let's learn a little bit about our guests.
The Panthers are in the middle of their second-worst season as a franchise and worst since 2001, the year before John Fox arrived. Unless they can outscore the Falcons by 34 points, they will finish with their worst point differential in team history. The Panthers also have the 32nd-ranked offense but their defense is ranked a respectable 16th overall.
SERIES HISTORY:This will be the fifth meeting between the Falcons and Panthers in the Mike Smith era. The last time these two teams met was in Week 14 with the Falcons running away with a 31-10 win.
Falcons Vs. Panthers
This will be the 32nd meeting between the Falcons and Panthers. The Falcons lead the all-time series 19-12 and are 3-2 since 2008.
The Falcons record against the Panthers (by decade):
Average Score since 2008:
- Falcons 26.4
- Panthers 22.0
Average Yards since 2008:
- Falcons 351.6
- Panthers 383.4
Most Points Scored:
Falcons 51, Oct. 4, 1998
Highlight: The Falcons forced six turnovers and Jamal Anderson ran for 117 yards in a 51-23 rout.
Panthers 44, Jan. 1, 2006
Fewest Points Scored:
Falcons, 3, Twice, Most recently Dec. 24, 2006
Panthers 0, Twice, Falcons outscored the Panthers 71-0 in two games in 2002.
- The Panthers have won two in a row against the Falcons four different times with the most recent between 2008 and 2009.
- The Falcons won six in a row between 2000 and 2002.
Mike Smith is 32-16 as Falcons head coach and is 2-0 in Week 17 games all-time. He is 4-4 against the Panthers all-time including his time as a member of the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Best Individual Performances Against the Panthers:
- Passing: Joey Harrington, 361 yards, 2007
- Rushing: Michael Vick, 141 yards, 2003
- Receiving: Roddy White, 127 yards, 2007
- Sacks: Chris Doleman, 3.5, 1995
Best Career Numbers Against the Panthers:
- Passing: Chris Chandler, 1,797 yards in 9 games
- Rushing: Jamal Anderson, 799 yards in 9 games
- Receiving: Terance Mathis, 959 yards in 14 games
- Sacks: Chuck Smith, 9.5 sacks in 7 games