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Falcons ESPN writer Vaughn McClure predicts Falcons Loss this week


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FALCONS AT PANTHERS

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Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons average a league-best 33.5 points per game. They put up a season-high 48 points in a Week 4 win over Carolina. But the Panthers allowed just 31 points total in their past two games -- wins over San Diego and Washington -- and can still hit you in the mouth, even without star linebacker Luke Kuechly. The Panthers have won three of the their past four contests played in Charlotte this season, and they surely would want nothing more than to delay the Falcons' NFC South title celebration. Panthers 24, Falcons 21 -- Vaughn McClure

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Carolina Panthers

The Panthers don't want to watch another team celebrate winning the NFC South title that they have won the past three years in their house, and they're playing well enough to stop it. The secondary is performing much better than it was when Atlanta racked up 571 total yards in a Week 4 48-33 victory at the Georgia Dome. Carolina will have running back Jonathan Stewart for this one too. Upset special: Panthers 33, Falcons 30 -- David Newton

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3 minutes ago, xSICKxWITHxITx said:

I've been really disappointed in Vaughn. He really just hasn't been a good reporter for us. Just states obvious things. His own opinions and articles are just underwhelming.

They started off interesting and fair but lately he's become a pessimistic Debbie Downer. He's still a few steps above DLed

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Vaughn's picks for the Falcons for the year   I'll color Red the wrong ones - and Blue the right ones:

 

2016 Atlanta Falcons game-by-game predictions

Apr 15, 2016
  • mcclure_vaughn_m.jpg&w=160&h=160&scale=c
    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

The Atlanta Falcons failed to make the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, which makes 2016 an important year for second-year coach Dan Quinn and possibly a final one for general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Based on last year's records, the Falcons are tied with the 49ers for the league's toughest schedule.

Quinn has to fix many holes on defense before the Falcons can again be contenders, and those holes are unlikely to all be fixed in one offseason. If Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and the revamped offense put up a lot of points, maybe the Falcons will be in business. But they'll still have to stop opponents.

Here's a game-by-game breakdown:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 11 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET

Former Falcons coach Mike Smith makes his return to the Georgia Dome as the Bucs defensive coordinator. What the Falcons have to be most concerned with is keeping Jameis Winston from making plays like he did against them last year. There should be enough energy and urgency to get the Falcons off to a good start. Record: 1-0

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 18 at Oakland Raiders, 4:25 p.m. ET

Taking a trip west won’t be easy, especially against an emerging Raiders team with a solid young quarterback in Derek Carr and a potentially deadly pass-rush combo of Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Record: 1-1

Week 3: Monday, Sept. 26 at New Orleans Saints, 8:30 p.m. ET

There will be a lot of emotion in the building for the Saints, with the game marking the 10th anniversary of the Superdome re-opening after Hurricane Katrina. Couple that with the heavy hearts the Saints carry into the season following the murder of former captain Will Smith, and it might make for a difficult playing environment for the Falcons on Monday Night Football.Record: 1-2

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 2 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

Remember the Falcons knocked the Panthers from the ranks of the undefeated during last year’s matchup in Atlanta. Well, that certainly won’t sit well withCam Newton and the Panthers as they seek revenge. Who will get the last dab?Record: 1-3

Dan Quinn's Falcons face last season's two Super Bowl teams in back-to-back weeks. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9 at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. ET

Facing the Super Bowl champs on the road would be a much tougher task if the Broncos had their quarterback situation settled. But with Peyton Manningretired and Brock Osweiler in Houston, the Falcons have a legit chance -- if they can put up some points. The problem is that won’t be easy against Von Millerand crew. But, again, the Falcons have a chance if they can score. Record: 2-3

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET

The storyline will be about Quinn returning to the place where he thrived as a defensive coordinator. However, Quinn better conjure up a way to slow aRussell Wilson-led offense coming off a bye week. That’s a tall task. Record: 2-4

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 23 vs. San Diego Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET

The Chargers are still trying to find their way coming off a 4-12 season. It’s the ideal opponent for a Falcons team coming off a brutal three-game stretch.Record: 3-4

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 30 Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. ET

Aaron Rodgers indoors is scary enough. This has the potential to be a shootout, and you don’t want Rodgers with the ball in the final seconds with a chance to win -- right, Lions? Record: 3-5

Week 9: Thursday, Nov. 3 at Tampa Bay, 8:25 p.m. ET

This might sound crazy, but the Buccaneers swept the Falcons last season, so why can’t the Falcons return the favor in 2016? Contain Winston and his ability to extend plays, and the Falcons should be fine. We’ll see if the color rush uniforms come into play for both teams. Record: 4-5

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET

It’s never easy on the road, but the Falcons play a different style of Eagles team without the Chip Kelly up-tempo action. New Eagles coach Doug Pederson still has to put his stamp on his new team. Record: 5-5

Week 11: Bye week

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 27 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m. ET

The Cardinals might be one of the toughest teams the Falcons face all season, especially if Carson Palmer is on. It will be interesting to see Julio Jones andPatrick Peterson battle again. Record: 5-6

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are a solid team with a great coach in Andy Reid, but they’ll missJustin Houston (ACL) if the injured pass-rusher indeed misses the entire season. Still, they have enough to win without him. Record: 5-7

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 11 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET

It looks like the Falcons will face a rookie quarterback in Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. The bigger issue for the Falcons will be slowing dynamic Rams running back Todd Gurley. It's not going to be easy. Record: 5-8

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05. p.m. ET

Let’s hope the Falcons and Quinn learned from last year’s poor game-management decisions in a loss to the lowly 49ers. Record: 6-8

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24 at Carolina, 1 p.m. ET

If the Panthers play like they did last year, this game might be meaningless. Regardless, it will be fun to see what boastful Panthers cornerback Josh Norman has to say to Julio Jones and the Falcons this time around. Record: 6-9

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1 vs. New Orleans, 1 p.m. ET

What a way to kick off the New Year with the final game at the Georgia Dome against the bitter rival Saints. The emotion will swing in the Falcons’ favor in this battle, but it won’t equate to a playoff appearance. Record: 7-9

 

 

Vaughn's record in picking our games - 5-9 = 35.7%

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He's right, We need to assume both the Panthers and the Saints are going to punch us in the mouth. So, we need to get into playoff mode for this game and stay in it for the reset of the season. We need to be the team we know we are. We need to dominate from start to finish and blow both these teams out on our way. 

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5 minutes ago, The O.D.B said:

He's right, We need to assume both the Panthers and the Saints are going to punch us in the mouth. So, we need to get into playoff mode for this game and stay in it for the reset of the season. We need to be the team we know we are. We need to dominate from start to finish and blow both these teams out on our way. 

Do you really buy into the "punch us in the mouth" thing?  Every team gives it's best effort every week, the difference in teams is talent, game plan and adjustments.  It also implies that Carolina and New Orleans has an advantage over us because apparently they want to punch us in the mouth and us not return the favor?  Or do they want to punch us more in the mouth than we want to punch them in the mouth?  LOL.  Or like we aren't prepared for a team's best effort?

Falcons will be ready...we have a lot more to play for than they do...

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5 minutes ago, athell said:

Do you really buy into the "punch us in the mouth" thing?  Every team gives it's best effort every week, the difference in teams is talent, game plan and adjustments.  It also implies that Carolina and New Orleans has an advantage over us because apparently they want to punch us in the mouth and us not return the favor?  Or do they want to punch us more in the mouth than we want to punch them in the mouth?  LOL.  Or like we aren't prepared for a team's best effort?

Falcons will be ready...we have a lot more to play for than they do...

Just saying we need to be in that "Mode" going forward. I think TB on our tails will give us that motivation. 

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47 minutes ago, xSICKxWITHxITx said:

I've been really disappointed in Vaughn. He really just hasn't been a good reporter for us. Just states obvious things. His own opinions and articles are just underwhelming.

Yeah, seems like he has fallen in line with all "news" and just regurgitates what everyone else says/thinks without doing any research anymore.

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All HC Quinn and his staff need to do is show film to the fellas of how the Panties clowned us last season when they were rolling on us taking selfies on the sideline during the game, posing on the logo, dancing and dabbing. Remind them of all that disrespect they served us and stand back and watch the payback take place.

GO FALCONS!

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28 minutes ago, athell said:

Do you really buy into the "punch us in the mouth" thing?  Every team gives it's best effort every week, the difference in teams is talent, game plan and adjustments.  It also implies that Carolina and New Orleans has an advantage over us because apparently they want to punch us in the mouth and us not return the favor?  Or do they want to punch us more in the mouth than we want to punch them in the mouth?  LOL.  Or like we aren't prepared for a team's best effort?

Falcons will be ready...we have a lot more to play for than they do...

Personally, I don't believe that.  I think it's rare when a team quits (but that DEFINITELY happens), but I do think effort can vary.

I see this as a tough game and I could see us losing.  Philly had been on a terrible stretch when they played a hot Giants team last night.  Unlike Carolina, Philly is actually already mathematically eliminated.  Just how it goes when you're talking about a rivalry.  (Of course we talked about his in another thread).

I would love to see a beat down of the Panthers.  My gut tells me it'll be a close game that comes down to the final minutes or a game like 2011 where we trailed and put it together late and came back and pulled away.

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1 hour ago, xSICKxWITHxITx said:

I've been really disappointed in Vaughn. He really just hasn't been a good reporter for us. Just states obvious things. His own opinions and articles are just underwhelming.

ESPN has a company-wide aversion to all things Atlanta.   Connecticut is the truest Yankee state but I think it has more to do with cable competition in their early years against Ted Turner. 

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