CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 9: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Can the Carolina Panthers finally pull off an upset this week? The reeling Atlanta Falcons look like a prime target.
The Atlanta Falcons are reeling right now. Mike Smith's team has just two wins, and last week stood by helpless watching the Green Bay Packers score 25 unanswered points to erase a 14-0 deficit for the win. Instead of battling with the Saints for the NFC South title, their locked in a fight for survival to stay out of the basement.
Sitting in that basement and playing with the gusto that says they'll do anything to get out of it are the Carolina Panthers, who pay a visit to Atlanta this week. Carolina has come close to upsetting some favorites, including the Saints and Packers. This could be the week they finally pull off that upset, leaping over Atlanta in the NFC South standings.
Peter King predicts the upset in his picks for the week.
Uh-oh. The fans at the Georgia Dome, lovebirds six weeks ago, turn boo-birds. I've been saying this for weeks: The Panthers are a far different team with Cam than without. (Duh.) Average score of 2010 games: Foe 26, Carolina 12. Average score of 2011 games: Foe 26, Carolina 23. Newton should be able to take advantage of a generous Falcons secondary.