Panthers vs. Falcons: Live Reaction and Analysis of Game's Biggest Stories

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Panthers vs. Falcons: Live Reaction and Analysis of Game's Biggest Stories
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons had their first opportunity to clinch the No. 1 seed last Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.

As most know by now, they failed in that attempt, thanks largely to uncharacteristic miscues.

The Falcons now have a second chance to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs against the lowly 2-13 Carolina Panthers.

It has already been announced that Carolina coach John Fox will not be returning next season, making this his final game on the Panthers' sideline.

When these teams squared off earlier this season in Carolina, Atlanta won 31-10. The Falcons gained 127 rushing yards and sacked Carolina's Jimmy Clausen five times in that game, but the Panthers were able to accumulate over 200 yards of their own on the ground.

Given how much the rookie Clausen has struggled this year, the Panthers' only chance in this one will be for their running backs to have they same type of success.

The Falcons players are reportedly still fuming about their loss to New Orleans and will look to take out that anger on another division foe. That, along with everything that is riding on this game for Atlanta, make an upset highly improbable.

This is football, however, and anything can happen. We also cannot put it past the Atlanta Falcons to blow an opportunity like this.

Keep it here for updates and analysis of the biggest stories from this Week 17 contest.

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