The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Liz Gonzales chat about what to expect from the Falcons in the air, on the ground and on the other side of ball against the Panthers.
FLOWERY BRANCH — After posting a thrilling 45-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons (2-1) will host the Carolina Panthers (1-2) at 1. p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Thursday:
1. Practice. The Falcons practice today at 1:55 p.m. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong will speak to the media after practice. (Send along your questions on Twitter to @DorlandoAJC)
2. Injury report. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who injured his left thumb against the Saints, was listed on the team’s official injury report, but he fully participated in practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver Julio Jones (calf), wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (hamstring), running back Tevin Coleman (ankle) and defensive end Brooks Reed (shoulder) were all limited. Linebacker Paul Worrilow (groin surgery), linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (ankle), defensive end Dwight Freeney (not injury related) and wide receiver Mohammad Sanu (shoulder) did not practice. Ryan finished the game against the Saints playing with a glove on his left hand. Michael Jackson wore his glove on his right — throwing — hand.
3. Coleman update. Running back Tevin Coleman was limited on Wednesday, but he’s making the time-share situation at running back work through the first three games.
4. Super Bowl odds. The Falcons odds to win the Super Bowl have improved from 75-to-1 to 40-to-1 with their 2-1 start.
5. Did you say playoffs? Jim Mora’s playoff rant was uttered all around town after the Falcons’ opening season loss to Tampa Bay. AJC columnist Mark Bradley was one of those folks. He now notes that their playoff chances have improved to 42.9 percent from 2.4 percent, according to Football Outsiders. Things change fast in the modern-day, free agency-driven and parity-ridden NFL. See the video below, back when coaches weren’t trying to sound like corporate executives at their post game press conferences. Mora Sr. spoke the truth.
GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32
GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28
GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24