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The Panthers are three point home underdogs to Falcons on Sunday

I’m having a hard time reading this game.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

If Panthers quarterback Cam Newton were healthy and playing I would jump all over the three points. It might actually not be three points...or would it. My prediction site The Linebacker thinks the Panthers will win this one outright. With back-up quarterback Taylor Heinicke subbing for the injured Newton I don’t know what to expect from the Panthers offense. I’d love for Heinicke to lead a rout of the division rival Falcons. I see no downside from that even if it means a lower draft pick. It would be nice to snap the losing streak. I don’t want to take that into the next season.

One bright spot from Heinicke starting is it means we can run pass plays longer than 20 yards again. It was apparent in the Saints game Newton’s arm had a fraction of the strength we are used to seeing. I hope he actually gets surgery so we don’t risk a lingering problem that bleeds into the 2019 season.

As I said in the opening the Panthers are a three point home underdog. I wouldn’t touch this game one way or the other. If the Panthers defense from last week shows up the Falcons can be in trouble. If Heinicke plays like the inexperienced player he is then he will make mistakes and the scoring could be low. On my homer side though, Heinicke played pretty good in the preseason and with Norv Turner at the helm he could limit Heinicke’s risky throws. Plus he has running back Christian McCaffrey to hand off and throw to so there is that. If I were to bet on this game (and I’m not damn it) I would take the over at 44.5.

Anyone have a feel for this game one way or the other? Meaning are you confident Heinicke will play well? How about he simply protects the ball and makes enough throws to extend drives?

On the defensive side, do you think the good defense will show up again at home? Will the pass rush finally resurrect itself? It’s a crap shoot for sure.