At first Dan Quinn made it look too easy. The former Seattle defensive coordinator stepped straight from a Super Bowl defense to a 5–0 start as a rookie head coach. Every move made to fix the floundering Falcons worked — until nothing could go right.
Thanks to an uninspired performance against the Falcons in Atlanta last week, any dreams the Carolina Panthers (14-1) had of a perfect season have come to an abrupt end. The Panthers must now re-focus and set their sights on locking up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs.
When these two NFC South rivals last met just two weeks ago, it did not end well for the Atlanta Falcons (7-7), as they were pounded by the Panthers 38-0 in Charlotte. The Falcons hope that Week 16 will result in a completely different outcome in Atlanta.
New Orleans gave a tremendous effort last Sunday. The Saints attempted to tarnish the record of the sole remaining undefeated team in the NFL. They came commendably close. Now, they have nothing left for which to strive other than avoiding a losing season.
The Panthers have rolled through their first 11 games. Six of those wins, including the last three, have been by double digits. They only need to win one of their five remaining games in order to clinch the NFC South Division title.
Thanksgiving Day was just the appetizer for Week 12 NFL and fantasy action. For the first time since Week 3 all 32 teams are in action, which means we still have 13 games to go between Sunday and Monday.