Black & Blue Kickoff Live: Panthers look for third straight win against Falcons


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE/AP)- The Carolina Panthers, coming off of back-to-back wins, are preparing to face the 0-4 Atlanta Falcons this Sunday.

Despite the loss of star running back Christian McCaffrey, Carolina’s offense has proven that they can make moves under pressure with quality production from backup running backs Mike Davis, and, to a lesser degree, Reggie Bonnafon, and the team has stepped up as a whole in their last two games.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule raved about Davis during training camp, and he hasn’t disappointed.

Davis has run for 130 yards on 29 carries and caught 13 passes for 72 yards while scoring two touchdowns in the featured role the last two weeks.

Bonnafon, who was called up from the practice squad, has chipped in with 12 carries for 69 yards and two receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Behind a solid mix of run and pass, the Panthers were able to mount four scoring drives of 75 yards or more and control the clock for more than 37 minutes in their 10-point win over the Cardinals.

They’re not facing as much of a defensive challenge this week with the Falcons looking at a depleted D-line due to injuries. Their defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is hoping to have some starters return from injuries in the game against Carolina.

Atlanta’s secondary has been hit especially hard. Safety Damontae Kazee suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the Falcons’ loss to Green Bay on Monday night and will miss the remainder of the season.

Atlanta’s offense also has a notable injury concern. Wide receiver Julio Jones did not return for the second half against the Packers after aggravating a hamstring injury that forced him to miss a loss to Chicago. His status against Carolina is uncertain.

Morris says every NFL team goes through similar waves of injuries.

“It’s just a matter of when you go through it and we’ve got to do a better job of surviving and advancing and playing the right way,” Morris said.

The Panthers and Falcons will kickoff at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with the game on FOX.

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