Happy Friday everyone, hope you all have a wonderful weekend, capped off of course with a Panthers victory. I thought I'd combine day 11 of the advent calendar with a hopeful look at Sunday's games. Without further ado, here are...
11 Things I'd Like to Seen On Sunday
A Liverpool (my soccer team) win. Last Sunday they were beaten after a terrible display and it put me in a foul mood. Then when Drew Brees fired the Saints to a 14 to zip lead I was fit to burst with rage. This Sunday I would like to sit down for the NFL in a much calmer frame of mind. So Liverpool - do your job.
- Starting on the offense, and it starts with the line. I'd like to see Mike Remmers cut out some of the silly penalties and generally just play better. He faces off with Kroy Biermann this weekend who is no superstar. Hopefully this can be the game to get that push off the line back.
- Last week against the Saints was the 23rd consecutive game in which the Panthers have rushed for 100+ yards. Establishing the run is crucial for our offense and I don't want to see this streak come to an end. The Falcons D ranks 12th in the league for run defense to they're no mugs, but no great shakes either.
- A no drop performance from Ted Ginn Jr. Am I asking too much, really? I'll forgive him for the second big drop last week after the flag was thrown, but the first was a clear touchdown under no pressure. Heading into the play-offs these are the chances we cannot squander. No better time to stop dropping ball than this Sunday, a nice confidence booster for him.
- A touchdown for Greg Olsen. He is sitting on 6 currently, which is the total he posted in 2013 & 2014. One more would represent his biggest haul in a Panthers jersey, two more would level his 2009 career high. All Greg Olsen fantasy owners, I support you wholeheartedly.
- On to special teams. Last week's missed extra point return was freakish in that it has never happened before in the NFL. I'm hoping lightning doesn't strike twice. Gano had no FG attempts last week, this week I'd like his boot to be back to it's reliable best.
- Whilst the Falcons only have the 20th receiving offense in the NFL, they do boast the receiving leader in Julio Jones. He is Matt, sorry, Meg Ryan's go-to-guy, and get's targeted all the time. I'd like to see him treading water in Lake Norman. So far this season, Josh Norman has lined up against all of our opponents best wideouts and generally comes out on top. Jones has 10 catches and 107 yards in two games against Norman last year. If he can hold him to less that 100, it severely handicaps any Falcons offense.
- Who doesn't take enormous, gratuitous pleasure in watching Ryan put on his ass? To that end, I want to see Charles Johnson, back from injury and looking healthy, in full disruptive form. The Atlanta O-Line has it's issues, but in Ryan Schraeder and Jake Matthews it boasts a couple of solid tackles. If Johnson wins the battle, we win the game.
- Less something I'd like to see, more something I'd like to hear. The chants of LUUUKE never fail to bring a smile to my face. So long as it occasionally booms around the stadium I know we're doing just fine.
- No injuries, please God, no injuries. We've been fortunate this year, other than Kelvin Benjamin of course, that our injury list has been reasonably thin. As we approach such a critical time of the year a major injury could wreak havoc in the squad. It would be heartbreaking to see something like that ruin such a great year too.
- Finally, the eleventh thing I would like to see. It goes without saying really - 13-0. To go 13-0 on December 13th wouldn't that be a lovely little coincidence?
Another happy coincidence, and one I flirted with covering for today's article. In 2006, our 11th year in the NFL, we won 11 games. Strange huh?
Please use the comments section below and let me know what sorts of things you would like to see happen in Sunday's game.
By Daniel Rawlinson