The Atlanta Falcons were the darling of the NFC South in the preseason. “Experts” had them picked to win the division and quite possibly represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Carolina Panthers were rated a cut below every other team in the NFC South.
Ha! The NFL will make losers of us all. Right now the Carolina Panthers look like a team building something solid. After a 1-3 start the Panthers have now won four straight and capped it off today with a very solid win over those darling Falcons. Atlanta meanwhile, has been beset with injury and now sits at 2-6. Carolina is 5-3 and only one game back of the 6-2 New Orleans Saints, who lost to the Jets today. Suddenly the NFC South has a race.
Carolina is getting solid but not spectacular play from Cam Newton, who threw a TD and ran for another. The Panthers defense came up with three inteceptions of Matt Ryan.
Atlanta has lost players at practically every skill position and running four games back has little hope of getting back in the running to win the division. But with a game remaining against the Saints and another with the Panthers they could act the part of spoilers, a role they can’t possibly relish after the praise and excitement they generated coming in the season. So goes it in the NFL.Eric Drouant