After all the hype that surrounded the Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints, this week is a bit of a letdown. Sure, this game has importance but it's hard to build drama against a 2-13 team that will be changing coaches (and likely quarterback) next season. The Falcons need to win to clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, a feat they haven't accomplished in 30 years. A loss, on the other hand, would cause a chain reaction that could find the Falcons playing in Seattle on Wild Card weekend. What are the chances of that happening? Let's check in with the experts.
|ESPN Consensus||Falcons||All 10 experts like the Falcons to finish the season with a win.|
|Yahoo Sports Consensus||Falcons||Another clean sweep with all four experts picking the Falcons.|
|CBS Sports Consensus||Falcons||Not a lot fo drama with all five experts thinking Atlanta wins to finish 13-3.|
|Fanhouse||Falcons||Dave Goldberg predicts the Falcons to win a blowout, 34-7.|
|What If Sports||Falcons||The Falcons won over 72 percent of the simulations with an average score of 25-18.|
|Sports Illustrated||Falcons||Peter King: Falcons 30, Panthers 13. With a loss, John Fox would exit Carolina with a 78-74 record, three playoff appearances in nine years, four straight road playoff wins at one point, and having scared the tar out of the Patriots in a 32-29 Super Bowl loss seven years ago. So don't just remember the bad, Pantherphiles.|
|USA Today||Falcons||All eight experts like the Falcons to beat the Panthers and seven of the experts make it their lock of the week.|
|Sporting News||Falcons||Only five of the seven experts have their picks in but they all five love the Falcons to win.|
|SB Nation Philly||Falcons||Jason Brewer: This is a huge line, but you’d have to say it’s well deserved. Atlanta is the top team in the NFC and Carolina is probably the worst. Atlanta needs a win to ensure the No. 1 seed and a first round bye. Since the game is at one, they won’t know the outcome of the Bears or Saints games so they’ll have everything to play for. It’s a scary big number, but Atlanta should blow them out here.|
|SB Nation||Falcons||Joel Thorman: Look for the Falcons to roll in this one as they clinch the NFC South and a first round bye. We'll predict 30-20 in favor of the Falcons.|
Well alright then. There's not one expert who thinks the Panthers could win one for John Fox and upset the Falcons. Just three weeks ago the Falcons beat the Panthers by 21 in Carolina. A home game against the same team shouldn't be close. Let's call it, Falcons 27, Panthers 14.