Saints defeat the Panthers 31-26, advance to NFC divisional round

Carolina Panthers Cam Newton hugs New Orleans Saints Drew Brees before an NFL football game in Charlotte N.C. Sunday Sept. 24 2017. The Saints won 34-13

In the two regular-season meetings with Carolina, New Orleans had 14 so-called "chunk" plays, compared with nine for the Panthers. This season, a season-long duel between the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons thrust all three teams in the playoffs. New Orleans took the crown will host the Panthers for the second time this year in the Big Easy, Sunday at 4:40 p.m.

The Saints would appear to have the advantage this weekend. The Saints also managed to rush for 149 yards.

The Vikings came through the end of the regular season in relatively good health, and have a good chance to get center Pat Elflein back from the shoulder injury that kept him out in Week 17.

Fellow running back Mark Ingram, wide receivers Ted Ginn, Tommylee Lewis and former Saints turned Cardinals back Adrian Peterson also created trouble, gaining 203 additional yards. The rookie is a dual threat, with over 1500 combined rushing and receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. The Panthers had no answer for Kamara. He failed to throw for more than 183 yards and was sacked six times. Few players are capable of discouraging defenses like Newton, who is just as happy trucking over a safety, outrunning a cornerback in the open field, or lofting a deep ball to a wide-open tight end after forcing teams to play eight in the box.

The duo rushed for almost 2,000 yards combined in the regular-season. Brees saw to it, throwing three touchdown passes and no interceptions while Cam Newton threw three interceptions and no touchdowns.

Brees can't be careless with the football on Sunday.

Before Olsen sat out the two games this season, he had an impressive run again the Saints the previous three seasons.

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The Saints will be favourites to advance having comfortably beaten the Panthers twice already this season. New Orleans is 3-5 in wild card contests. "He knows how to use his body" to keep defenders from getting to the ball in flight. If Newton can hit a couple of big plays early, he could be in store for a big day.

"We didn't get up for that game and that's on us".

Expect the Saints to apply plenty of pressure on Newton. After dropping two straight to start the Saints began an eight game win streak with their first victory over the Panthers in Charlotte. We were picked 6-10, 7-9, 8-8, last in the NFC South. you can look at it that everything we do from here on our is gravy then. He just needs help.

But if you look to stop Ginn from beating you, then Ingram and Kamara can slowly win with chunks of yardage at a time, as they did against Buffalo when their team almost eclipsed 300 rushing yards in a 47-10 win.

But the Panthers will get their own boost.

Unfortunately for Carolina, it won't be enough.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had one comeback on Sunday, and nearly led a huge one.

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