The Atlanta Falcons are still in the thick of the NFC wild-card race and a win on the road against the Carolina Panthers would go a long way. The Falcons will be looking to get back to riding running back Michael Turner, who can open up the Falcons passing game against the Panthers, who have struggled to stop the run. "He's going to be real big, especially this week," wide receiver Roddy White said. "He's had a lot of success against these guys. We always get off to a good start and get the ball in his hands. He opens up the play action pass for us."
The Carolina Panthers are all but out of the playoff race at 4-8, but they can still play spoiler within their division and gain some momentum for next season. Rookie quarterback Cam Newton has dazzled in his first season in the NFL, setting the single-season record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 13 last week. The Panthers will be a bit hamstrung on the defensive side of the ball after placing rookie defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Sione Fua on injured reserve. The two rookies were already filling in for missing starters on the defensive line. "It kind of takes the wind out of your sails a little bit," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. "The big thing with (Turner) is you can't allow him to get started because he is tough to bring down."
Game Date/Time: Sunday, December 11th, 1:00 pm ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
TV Distribution Map: The506.com