3 key matchups: Panthers at Falcons


Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly vs. Falcons QB Matt Ryan: Kuechly, a three-time All-Pro, is off to another strong start. The Panthers give him defensive audibles to attempt to match what Ryan is calling for the Falcons. Since entering league in 2012, Kuechly leads the NFL in tackles (625). He had an interception in the last meeting on Dec. 13, 2015. Ryan passed for 306 yards and a touchdown to lead the Falcons to the only regular-season victory over the Panthers in 2015.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen vs. Falcons SS Keanu Neal: Olsen has had five or more receptions in four of the past six meetings against the Falcons. Olsen, a two-time Pro Bowler, has made 18 catches for 259 yards and one touchdown this season. Neal, a rookie who’ll be in his second NFL game, had four tackles and one pass breakup in his NFL debut against the Saints.

Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin vs. Falcons CB Desmond Trufant: Benjamin, who missed last season with a knee injury, had only one target last week against the Vikings. Benjamin was taken away by an assortment of zone coverages that caused quarterback Cam Newton to hold the ball. After missing last season, he’s caught 13 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Trufant is off to another strong start and will shadow Benjamin when the Falcons are in man-to-man.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

What Tevin Coleman said after the 23-20 win over Giants 
What Tevin Coleman said after the 23-20 win over Giants 

On touchdown run. “The back side was open, the line got the hole open, and I just busted through there.” On getting the run going. “You have to just stay with it. They are a great defense and they stopped a lot of the runs, but you have to stick with it and one is going to break open. That’s what we did.” On...
What Matt Ryan said after the 23-20 win over Giants 
What Matt Ryan said after the 23-20 win over Giants 

On getting the second win in a row. “I think it was huge for us to get the job done tonight. To inch our way closer to .500 is a positive for us. It was a tough win. It took all three phases all night. But I’m proud of the effort across the board. That showed up for 60 minutes. It was good for us and now a good chance for us to get some...
What the Falcons said after the 23-20 win over Giants 
What the Falcons said after the 23-20 win over Giants 

On the adjustments. “They were just sending pressure. They were coming off the edge and through the A-gap. Things like that. Double A (gap) blitz. They were trying to get Matt off his spot. Get some pressure and get some hands in his face. He was able to see and get the ball out of his quick.” On his fumble. “The refs made the...
Five things we learned in Falcons’ 23-20 win over Giants 
Five things we learned in Falcons’ 23-20 win over Giants 

Without much of a running game and another big injury, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan went to the team’s quick and short passing game to slowly wear down the Giants on Monday Night Football at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Replacement kicker Giorgia Tavecchio, a native of Milan, Italy, made a 56-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to lift...
Inactives: Giants at Falcons 
Inactives: Giants at Falcons 

Here are the inactives for tonight’s game: Falcons: Kicker Matt Bryant, running back Brian Hill, cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, defensive end Steven Means, offensive guard Zac Kerin, offensive tackle Matt Gono and defensive tackle Michael Bennett.  Giants: Quarterback Kyle Lauletta, defensive back Karmin Moore, cornerback Mike Jordan, guard...
More Stories