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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Anthony Rizzuti

Revisiting our (sorta) bold predictions for Panthers vs. Falcons

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No one could’ve predicted exactly what went down between the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. But, hey, we tried.

Let’s revisit our (sorta) bold predictions for what was a wild NFC South clash.

PJ Walker throws for over 180 yards: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 180.5 passing yards for Walker

Walker, who hit 177 passing yards on just 22 attempts last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will be facing the league’s worst pass defense. Atlanta has allowed 306.6 yards per game through the air—almost 30 full yards more than the next closest team.

Result: Walker completed 19 of his 36 passes for a career-high 317 yards.

. . . and at least one passing touchdown: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 0.5 passing touchdowns for Walker

Oh, and that league-worst pass defense will also be without their top cornerback in A.J. Terrell and safety Jaylinn Hawkins. So Walker has to sniff out the end zone at least once, right?

Result: Walker’s lone touchdown, the 62-yard completion to wide receiver DJ Moore, knotted the game at 34 with 12 seconds remaining in regulation.

Marcus Mariota throws for under 161 yards: Incorrect

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 161.5 passing yards for Mariota

Mariota hasn’t cracked that many passing yards in over a month. In fact, he’s thrown for fewer than 150 in each of his last four outings.

Carolina doesn’t boast the tightest aerial defense, but they’re solid enough to keep Mariota down. Plus, they’ll likely be getting Jaycee Horn back after a two-game absence.

Result: Mariota connected on 20 of his 28 throws for a season-high 253 yards.

. . . and at least one passing touchdown: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 0.5 passing touchdowns for Mariota

As underwhelming as the passing attack may be, Mariota should still be able to chalk up a tuddy. Maybe he finds one of these next two players for the score . . .

Result: Mariota also hit a season-high with three touchdowns.

Drake London records over 39 receiving yards: Incorrect

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 39.5 receiving yards for London

2022’s eighth overall pick currently leads Atlanta in targets (44), receiving yards (315) and receiving touchdowns (two). The Falcons may not get a ton in the passing game, but London is certainly capable of cracking at least 40 yards.

Result: London reeled in four passes for 31 yards, the third-lowest output of his rookie campaign.

Kyle Pitts records over 34 receiving yards: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 34.5 receiving yards for Pitts

Pitts isn’t having the 2022 he probably envisioned, as he’s totaled just 178 yards and one touchdown through seven weeks. He’s also failed to hit that 35-yard mark in five of his six games.

But that number still feels awfully low, especially against a secondary that allowed some big gains to a similar-sized pass catcher in Mike Evans a week ago.

Result: Pitts caught five balls for a team-high 80 yards and a touchdown. This was just the second game all season in which he accumulated more than 25 receiving yards.

DJ Moore records over 58 receiving yards: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 58.5 receiving yards for Moore

Every pass catcher is going over! With Terrell out, Moore—who went for a season-high 69 yards in Week 7—is going to have an even greater chance of feasting on this weakened secondary.

Result: Moore exploded for a season-best 152 yards and a score off six grabs. That performance also left Moore just five yards off his career-high.

Terrace Marshall Jr. records over 25 receiving yards: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 25.5 receiving yards for Marshall Jr.

In the two games where Marshall Jr. actually got involved, he collected outings of 30 and 31 yards. And he should be even more involved on Sunday (with Matt Rhule and Robbie Anderson gone) as he continues to work himself into interim head coach Steve Wilks’ plan.

Result: Marshall Jr. (in a prevalent theme for these predictions) went for a career-high 87 receiving yards on four receptions.

Tyler Allgeier rushes for under 60 yards: Correct

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Prop: O/U 60.5 rushing yards for Allgeier

With all this passing offense going around (kinda), maybe the run game has to suffer. Carolina was particularly stout last week, limiting the Bucs to 46 yards on 16 carries.

Allgeier may get close to 60, but this amped-up rush defense is looking good right now.

Result: Allgeier finished with fewer rushing yards (39) than fellow running back Caleb Huntley (91) and Mariota (43). He did, though, rack up 46 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Panthers win: Incorrect

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Spread: Panthers +4.5

As long as the Panthers offense doesn’t vomit all over itself, they’ll have a decent chance in this one.

Result: While they did cover the spread, the Panthers dropped this one—37-34.

Week 8 prediction tally: 7-2

2022 prediction tally: 40-40

Results record: 3-5

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