Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/19/14

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 27: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons waits to re-enter the field against the Buffalo Bills at Georgia Dome on December 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Carolina Panthers may be out of the playoff hunt, but they have plenty to motivate them against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend. The Falcons are a far superior team, but they needed a miraculous comeback to beat the Panthers in Week 4. After leading the improbable come-from-behind victory, Matt Ryan apparently was not friendly to his division rival. Several Carolina players say they have had Sunday’s game circled on their calendars because of the nasty things Ryan said after their first meeting. “I can’t repeat it to you. That’s how bad it was,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn told reporters, via the Charlotte Observer. “He totally disrespected us. They won the game. They came all the way back and beat us. But to say what he said, I don’t think it was called for. He could have handled it a different way. But he said it. … He said some harsh words. So it’s going to be a fight out there.” As Pro Football Talk mentioned, Ryan was caught by television camera’s saying, “Get the f*** off our field!” after his team’s Week 4 win. It’s quite possible it was that statement that rubbed the Panthers the wrong way, and that is likely what has led to defensive end Greg Hardy wanting to embarrass Atlanta. “I’m really not a fan of the team down the street,” Hardy said. “I’m trying to mess up their whole playoff experience. I want them to go home sick in the stomach, mad about life, a couple depression issues, all types of things. It’s going to be a long day from my point of view. I’m coming.” It sounds like the 3-9 Panthers are not in search of any added motivation this week. The Falcons have already wrapped up the NFC South and are simply playing for playoff seeding, so it may be difficult for them to match Carolina’s intensity. That being said, there’s no question about which team has the edge in talent.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Did Rex Grossman turn down Browns offer?

Wes Welker admits to feeling effects of repeated concussions

Report: Jim Harbaugh's decision down to Michigan or Raiders

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

Alleged love child of Jerry Buss wants piece of family fortune

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Wes Welker, wife confused over his concussions

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

Appreciating Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab TD celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch film about Manny Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.