Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hopes to carry the team to its first victory after a 0-4 start over the first quarter of the season.
Sunday’s game will be the 51st meeting between the Falcons and the Panthers. The Falcons lead the series 32-18. The Falcons have won the past five games and eight of the last nine.
The team’s will meet at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Here’s a brief Q&A involving Ryan and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter.
Q: What are the Panthers doing differently on defense under the new coach?
A: They have a completely different scheme and a lot of different personnel from what we’ve faced, really, the last decade in Carolina. That part of it has been an adjustment for me. Looking at it, last week, they keep things in front of them. They do a good job of trying to limit explosive plays. I think they’re up there in terms of statistics in terms of limiting offenses' explosive plays.
Q: What’s been most impressive about the defense?
A: They’ve been very good about that, and they’re fast, they’re athletic. That’s the one thing I see when you watch the film is that they have really good speed at all three levels of their defense. I think that’s part of why they’ve had success the past two weeks.
Q: How can the Falcons prepare for the new scheme?
A: It’s hard. Without any (exhibition games), you really just have four weeks. You don’t really go back to what these guys did in college because it’s just different. The type of offense that we play and that they’ve gone against in college – the Big 12 (Panthers coach Matt Ruhle was coach at Baylor before the Panthers hired him) is different from what we’re doing here in the NFC South – but the one thing I have seen in the four weeks is they have their guys playing fast and disciplined. They stay in the spots where they’re supposed to be, so it looks like they’re very well-coached.
Falcons' next four games
Panthers at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11
Falcons at Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18
Lions at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday Oct. 25
Falcons at Panthers at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
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