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Michael Turner (33) ran for 139 yards against the Panthers in Week 6.
This is a rematch of the Falcons' 31-17 Week 6 victory over the Panthers.
In the first game, played at the Georgia Dome, the Panthers moved the ball at will during the first three quarters and owned a 17-14 advantage early in the fourth.
However, bad bounces and timely mistakes led to Carolina's demise.
A first-half Cam Newton pass intended for a wide-open Steve Smith in the end zone was deflected by the linebacker covering Greg Olsen and landed in the arms of Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes, negating a certain Panthers touchdown.
The Panthers dominated the third quarter with a long touchdown drive before things stalled on consecutive drives due to a couple of penalties and a horrible decision by Newton to throw a screen pass directly into the arms of a Falcons defensive lineman.
Michael Turner finally wore the Panthers' front seven down by the fourth quarter and pounded his way to 139 yards rushing.
The Panthers enter this game riding a two-game winning streak, both coming on the road, and they will have a loud and rabid fanbase ready to cheer them on.
Like Carolina, the Falcons are 2-2 in their past four games following last weekend's 17-10 loss to the AFC South-leading Houston Texans; though, unlike the Panthers, the 7-5 Falcons are fighting for their playoff lives.
Expect the Panthers to continue their recent trend of running the ball often and effectively to set up Newton's downfield passing.
Expect the Falcons to run the ball a lot, too, with human pinball, Turner, in the backfield and with Matt Ryan struggling in games away from Atlanta.
The Panthers are banged up all over the place defensively, including losing their two rookie defensive tackles, Sione Fua and Terrell McClain, for the rest of the season just this week.
The Falcons are without their best cornerback and occasional return man, Brent Grimes, so Steve Smith should get a lot of attention from Newton.
The Panthers are coming home to an excited, and potentially rowdy, fanbase that can't wait to greet their team coming off its first consecutive wins in nearly two years.
The Falcons will likely concede the NFC South crown to the Saints, but at 7-5, they are very much alive for a wild-card position.
The Panthers need this game for their fans and their confidence; the Falcons need this game for a possible berth into the 2012 NFL playoffs.
Against the odds, I am predicting a Panthers win based on a steady diet of Panthers running backs pounding the line of scrimmage and Steve Smith stretching and attacking the Grimes-less secondary.
Panthers 31, Falcons 27