Black and Blue Kickoff Live: Panthers consider return of Christian McCaffrey ahead of Thursday game

Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE/AP)- There is losing, and there is LOSING. The Atlanta Falcons have mastered the capitalized version, and that’s exactly what the Carolina Panthers are hoping for this Thursday night.

Blown leads, botched onside kicks and, last Sunday, scoring when they shouldn’t have. It’s all added up to a 1-6 record, a coach and general manager fired, and ridicule across America for what is actually one of the NFL’s best organizations.

The Falcons head to Carolina On Thursday, they head to Carolina, already having lost to the Panthers this season, although not with a spectacular stumble. That was the final game for coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff.

“Playing on Thursday night makes you get out of the funk that you’re in after a tough loss,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. “So, I think getting back into a game plan quickly, talking with coaches, starting to make plans for Thursday night kind of helps.”

The Panthers, 3-4 in their first season under coach Matt Rhule, have been a pleasant surprise considering they were pegged to be the NFC South’s tail-ender. They hope to get back star running back Christian McCaffrey, who can be a difference-maker if he’s fully healed from a high ankle sprain.

The Panthers, No. 19 in the AP Pro32, are a 2 1-2-point favorite over the floundering No. 28 Falcons.

You can watch the Falcons and the Panthers on FOX 46 at 8:20 p.m. Thursday. Make sure to watch the FOX 46 pregame show from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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