Panthers vs Falcons: The Carolina Panthers turned to their defense to keep the Dallas Cowboys in check in their Week 1 win. The task will get more difficult in Week 2, when they go on the road to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Date: Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018
Start Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Atlanta, GA
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
TV Info: FOX
Live Stream: Click here to Watch live stream free in HD
The Panthers (1-0) held the Cowboys to a measly 238 yards of offense in their 16-8 win in Week 1. Led by linebacker Luke Kuechly (13 tackles) and defensive tackle Kawann Short (two sacks), the Panthers shut out the Cowboys for three quarters and stifled running back Ezekiel Elliott. The defensive performance was needed, because the offense was average at best.
Quarterback Cam Newton led the team in rushing with 58 yards, but he threw for just 161 yards in the game. Running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for 50 yards and caught six passes for 45 yards. If this is going to be the Panthers offense, the defense will need to carry the team into the playoffs this season, particularly after tight end Greg Olsen re-fractured a bone in his foot and is out indefinitely.
The Falcons (0-1) loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 was very similar to their loss to the Eagles in a divisional round playoff game last season. The Falcons lost again because – just like in the playoff game – they couldn’t score in the red zone and quarterback Matt Ryan’s pass attempt to wide receiver Julio Jones for a game-winning touchdown fell incomplete.
The Carolina Panthers managed to survive last week after dominating much of the game against Dallas but ultimately needed a late strip-sack of quarterback Dak Prescott to secure the victory. Unfortunately, Carolina suffered numerous injuries in the win with two key contributors now sidelined moving forward.
Tight end Greg Olsen injured the same foot which caused him to miss nine games last season and right tackle Daryl Williams suffered another knee injury, although it wasn’t related to his previous condition. Both are expected to miss a significant amount of time.
Atlanta kicked off the season at defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia in a sloppy game that also came down to the wire. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t connect with receiver Julio Jones late in the end zone and Atlanta fell, 18-12.