Falcons have chance to close gap on Panthers

At first glance, the Panthers seem poised to kick dirt on the Falcons in the NFC South for the foreseeable future. Second and third looks don’t get much better.

The Panthers have Cam Newton, the NFL MVP, and he’s only 26. The Falcons have Matt Ryan, who just had his worst season since he was a neophyte, and he’ll be 31 soon.

The Panthers spanked the Falcons in Carolina in December. The Falcons upset the Panthers in the Georgia Dome two weeks later, but the Panthers brushed off the stumble to the Falcons and went on to win the NFC. The Falcons … well, you know what happened.

All of that would seem to indicate the Falcons are in no position to do anything about the Panthers winning their fourth consecutive NFC South title. But Michael Cunningham thinks the Falcons will close a significant portion of that gap in 2016 because they will be better and the Panthers won’t be as good.

Read his column and find out:

* How the Falcons can close the gap.

* How close he thinks the Falcons are.

* What part of the team allows the Falcons to quickly make up ground.

Read the full column here.

Other Falcons articles of interest:

Dimitroff, Quinn have activated ‘100-day’ plan.

Five things we learned about the Falcons this week.