NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Falcons DC Raheem Morris took responsibility for the team’s defensive struggles in Week 1 against the Seahawks after over-committing to defending the run. 

We didn’t do a good-enough job, and put that solely on me,” Morris said. “We went out, and we challenged (the Falcons defense) to stop the run and presented them with a big-time run package. We put the guys in there, and we were not going to let (Chris Carson) beat us. We were going to knock them back and not get pushed around and make this game ugly, and hopefully put up some points and make it into a passing game. It never went to that point.”

Morris believes their defense was “one-dimensional” in the season-opener and were left vulnerable against their passing game with QB Russell Wilson. 

“We stayed one-dimensional,” Morris said. “We didn’t give them a good-enough look, a good-enough presentation. I put it on myself. I gave these guys a little too much credit in the run game and not enough credit in the pass game. And they absolutely beat us. … We went out with that plan, and it didn’t work as well.”

Falcons CB Isaiah Oliver said their secondary was prepared for Wilson’s ability to extend plays but he was still able to beat them. 

“Going against a guy like that, his ability to make plays on the run is probably his biggest attribute,” Oliver said. “You can never necessarily know what you’re going to get from him. We tried to prepare as much as we could for him scrambling and for that ‘second play,’ as we call it. For a guy like that, he’s always going to get out of the pocket and move off the spot and still make great throws. That’s something he was able to do.”


  • Per Myles Simmons of the team website, Panthers HC Matt Rhule said DE Yetur Gross-Matos was hit in the eye during a one-on-one rep on Wednesday. Concussion symptoms developed Thursday and he was placed in the protocol. 
  • Panthers CB Donte Jackson left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury but Rhule said he’s tracking to play in Week 2: “Donte looks great. He looks like he’ll go out there and play and play really well.” (Joe Person)


  • NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill notes Saints LB Demario Davis‘ three-year, $27 million extension includes an $11 million signing bonus, base salaries of $1.05 million and $2.7 million the next two years that are guaranteed and a $3.6 million roster bonus in 2021. 
  • Underhill expects the Saints to convert the 2021 roster bonus to a signing bonus to create cap space. 
  • Davis’ deal includes a voidable year in 2024 to help prorate the cap hits. Those are currently set to be $8.1 million, $9.7 million and $10.7 million. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport notes the typical timeline for a high ankle sprain is 4-6 weeks which would keep Saints WR Michael Thomas out until after the team’s Week 6 bye. But Rapoport wouldn’t be surprised to see Thomas push hard to get back on the field before then. 
  • Saints HC Sean Payton didn’t rule out Thomas for Week 2’s Monday night game against the Raiders but didn’t provide any other injury updates: (Omar Ruiz)

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