Panthers vs. Falcons 2014 live stream: Time, TV schedule and how to watch online
The fate of the NFC South, the NFL’s worst division, will be determined on Sunday.
The Panthers have endured perhaps the strangest season of any team still alive in the playoff hunt. Starting quarterback Cam Newton missed the first game of the year with sore ribs and later missed more time after being involved in a car wreck. Yet somehow, Carolina won its games without him. What it struggled to do was win in the month of November. From Week 7 to Week 13, the Panthers managed to lose six straight games, and that was after a tie in Week 6. Their season seemed over until an unexpected three-game winning streak forced them back into the division race.
In order to emerge victorious Sunday, Carolina will need a great performance out of rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. At 6’5, Benjamin has been a matchup nightmare for defenses all season long. He needs just one yard to reach the 1,000-yard milestone. Newton, who will be another week removed from his car accident, had 201 yards passing, one touchdown and a pick last week. He may need to do better in the Georgia Dome if Carolina is going to have a chance.
Like Carolina, the Falcons suffered a similar midseason dip. They went the entire month of October without winning a game, enduring painful losses to the New York Giants and Detroit Lions. Atlanta lost a bevy of offensive linemen during that stretch. At one point, the Falcons started a tight end at offensive tackle due to the lack of healthy linemen. Their fortunes changed after their Week 9 bye, however. Atlanta went undefeated against the rest of their division and even shocked the then-NFC leading Arizona Cardinals 29-18.
Through it all, Matt Ryan has played some of his best football. The quarterback already has more than 4,400 yards through the air and is completing north of 66 percent of his passes. He needs four touchdowns to tie his career best (32). To achieve it, he’ll need help from top receiver Julio Jones. Despite missing time this season, Jones has amassed 1,535 receiving yards and a league-best 30 plays of 20 or more yards.
The Panthers enter Sunday with a record of 6-8-1. The Falcons come in at 6-9.
How to watch
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
When: 4:25 p.m. ET
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Online streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile
The Falcons are 2.5-point favorites according to OddsShark.