WATCH: 3 Things to know about the Carolina Panthers
The Atlanta Falcons will play their second straight division road game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. This will be the first of two matchups between the two rivals in the final seven weeks of the season.
Atlanta is coming off a 26-9 victory against the New Orleans Saints in Week 10. Carolina lost at Green Bay, 24-16, on Sunday.
Here are three things to know about the Panthers:
1. Christian McCaffrey has six 100-yard rushing games, and only one opponent has held McCaffrey under 100 yards from scrimmage this season. He also leads the NFL with 14 total touchdowns.
On the ground, McCaffrey is first in the league with almost 110 rushing yards per game and 11 rushing touchdowns. It's hard for a back to win the MVP in today's NFL, but McCaffrey deserves MVP votes heading into Week 11.
The Falcons probably don't have much hope of stopping him, but the key for Atlanta will be minimizing the damage and preventing other offensive weapons such as Greg Olsen and DJ Moore from breaking out.
2. Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen made his NFL debut last year in relief of Cam Newton against the Falcons. This Sunday, Allen will make his first start versus Atlanta.
Allen won his first four starts this year after taking over for Newton in Week 3 and didn't throw an interception in any of those games. But since then, he three touchdowns and five interceptions in the last three contests, and the Panthers are 1-2. Allen has also fumbled seven times this year.
Despite a great defensive showing last week, the Falcons didn't get a takeaway against the Saints. Atlanta will probably need to force Allen into at least one turnover in order to win at Carolina.
3. Defensively, the Panthers have the 29th-ranked run defense in the NFL. They've given up at least 120 rushing yards in seven of their nine games this season.
The Falcons are down to their third running back Brian Hill with Devonta Freeman likely out and Ito Smith on IR. That will make it difficult to establish the ground game again like Atlanta did last week, but Hill should have his opportunities going up against a weak run defense.