The Atlanta Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 to open the 2023 season. It was just their fourth double-digit win since 2019. It’s the first time the Falcons have been over .500 since 2017.
It wasn’t the best of showings from an Atlanta offense that was outgained 281 to 221 by the Panthers and ran just 48 plays. However, Atlanta won the turnover battle 3-0 and pulled away comfortably in the end.
The Falcons moved up a spot in the NFL.com Power Rankings from No. 17 to No. 16 in a ranking that feels fair at this juncture.
“The run-heavy script was what we expected,” wrote Eric Edholm on NFL.com. “But it’s a little concerning that, of the Falcons’ 18 throws in their win Sunday, only four went to Kyle Pitts and Drake London. And that was against a Carolina defense that was missing its best corner for much of the game. Pitts logged a few big catches, plus a 26-yarder called back on a London penalty, and running backs Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson really looked great together. But otherwise, the offense didn’t get it done. It was Week 1, sure, but even the respected O-line was a mixed bag. Desmond Ridder also didn’t do much to quiet any doubters. The defense played great — really, that unit won the game. Can the Falcons expect outstanding showings from Jessie Bates and Grady Jarrett every week? They might have to.”
The Atlanta Falcons play host to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST. The Packers leapfrogged the Falcons (and several teams) moving from No. 21 to No. 15 after an impressive 38-20 win in Chicago.
Quarterback Jordan Love was impressive going 15/27 for 245 yards and three touchdowns without and interception.
The Falcons could afford to play conservatively against Bryce Young and the Panthers offense. They’ll need to show a lot more on offense if they’re going to move to 2-0 against the Packers.
Vegas has the Falcons a 1.5-point home dog to the Pack. However, ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gives the slight edge to the home team at 51.5%.