KEY MATCHUPS: Falcons at Panthers

Falcons LB Joplo Bartu vs. Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams: Bartu will have to control Williams when the Panthers run their read-option plays. He had 15 tackles in the loss to Baltimore. Williams managed only 31 yards on 13 carries as he received the start against the Eagles. He caught three passes for 13 yards. He’s capable of making big plays. He has touchdowns of 50-plus yards in two of the past three meetings in Charlotte. In 2011, he had a 74-yard rushing touchdown and a 53-yard reception.

Falcons S Dwight Lowery vs. Panthers TE Greg Olsen: With William Moore out, Lowery has been a stabilizing force for the Falcons’ young secondary. He came up with a big interception late against Tampa Bay. Olsen is quarterback Cam Newton’s favorite target. He caught six passes for 119 yards in the loss to the Eagles. He caught a touchdown pass in each of his past five games against the Falcons.

Falcons RT Ryan Schraeder vs. Panthers DE Charles Johnson: Schraeder is set to make his third start this season. He was steady in the previous starts, against Detroit and Tampa Bay. Johnson has wrecked the Falcons’ tackles over the past few years. He had eight sacks in the past six meetings. But with Greg Hardy out, he has only four sacks this season and no games with multiple sacks.

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