Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

NFC Wild Card Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Preview and Prediction

NFC Wild Card Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Preview and Prediction

"Here I am, as a Cam Jordan, sending Cam Newton a bottle of Jordan wine". Carolina had also contained the Saints' dynamic rushing attack, holding prolific running back tandem Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara to a combined 41 rushing yards.

Carolina's loss to New Orleans on Sunday marked the final game for Jerry Richardson as owner of the team, which he founded in 1993.

The game might have played out differently for Newton and the Panthers if they'd been able to put the first points on the board.

Brees' lone blemish came on that conversion, where he threw the ball up for grabs and Carolina safety Mike Adams came away with the interception.

It all came down to a fourth down at the Saints' 34-yard line with 11 seconds to go in the game with Carolina quarterback Cam Newton suddenly hot and on the verge of avenging two regular season losses to New Orleans. "I thought that maybe somebody had stuck a finger in my eye".

Horrible. Uninspiring. Just not good enough. Two plays later, Brees hit former Panthers receiver Ted Ginn for an 80-yard touchdown with 1:46 remaining in the first quarter.

"They blocked it pretty well throughout the day, but I made the play on the last one - the one that counts", Bell said.

In the National Football League money exchange, touchdowns trump field goals, and that's exactly what the Saints did in taking a 21-9 halftime lead over the Panthers: three touchdowns to three field goals.

But Newton promptly returned on the next series, nearly immediately connecting with Christian McCaffrey on a 56-yard catch-and-run touchdown. "The ball was spread around quite a bit and guys were making plays when they had the chances".

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"We know how to play together, we know where people are going to be and so we're a lot more confident", Te'o said. "We felt like we had a great game plan going". Richardson spent time in the Panthers' locker room following the game.

Newton drove Carolina to a first down at the Saints 21, but the game ended with a fourth-down sack by safety Vonn Bell. But they sprinted to a lead while their defense limited the fifth-seeded Panthers to field goals instead of touchdowns until the fourth quarter.

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - For Saints coach Sean Payton and his players, it's a bit of a stretch to call their return to Minnesota a rematch. Olsen caught seven passes for 104 yards and a TD. Newton went 24 of 40 for 349 yards and two touchdowns. The four sacks on Newton were bad, and Brees did plenty of damage, but nothing compared to Newton only having two targets to work with, neither of which was a wide receiver.

After evading pressure by Tyeler Davison, Newton was blasted by Onyemata, who had a free run at the quarterback as Newton was attempting to regain his balance.

"Disappointment", Carolina coach Ron Rivera said.

Saints: Starting left guard Andrus Peat was carted off the field with a broken left fibula.

The Carolina Panthers got Drew Breesed Sunday, ending their season after a single playoff game.

The Saints have an improved running game with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara and a much better defense than previous year, which makes the Saints an extremely unsafe team going into the playoffs.

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