The New Orleans Saints are heading to Carolina to visit a Panthers team that is reeling after another loss. The Saints are two Games out of first place in a very winnable division. The Panthers are still in it at this point even with a 3-6 record.
The Saints can’t stop a runny nose on defense, but they have old reliable in Drew Brees. The Saints QB comes into the Game with 2,992 yards passing and a very impressive 24 TDs thrown with a QBR of 75.3. Even though his targets on offense have changed, he still has remained at the top of the league in his position.
The Saints have been looking for a go to weapon on offense that Brees can utilize often like he did the likes of Colston and Graham. This person has yet to be found. At running back, Mark Ingram has 547 yards rushing, but the Saints coaching staff has no trust in him holding onto the ball in crucial moments. He was replaced by veteran Tim Hightower who has been out of the league for two years. New Orleans knows not to take the Panthers lightly because they are still full of talent on both sides of the ball, led by last year’s league MVP.
Early this season the Saints and Panthers came down to the wire in New Orleans and the Panthers are looking to pay them back for that loss that might have been the start to a disastrous 2016 season for the Panthers.
The Panthers will rely on Cam Newton who comes into the Game with 10 touchdowns thrown and a QBR of 62.9 to keep pace with Brees and the Saints high powered offense. Cam has the help of running back Jonathan Stewart who was on the shelf for most of the season due to injury. He has racked up 4 touchdowns and 334 yards over the last few Games.
The Panthers still have a good defense, but it’s secondary has been the focal point that opposing offenses have attacked frequently this season. The front office had a huge blunder removing the FraNChise tag from All-Pro Corner back Josh Norman this offseason. This mistake has affected the overall defense that now ranks 23rd overall, far from where it ranked last year.
This Game will be a shootout just like the first Game they played this year, but the Panthers will be on the winning side to even the season series at 1 Game apiece. This is all with the hopes of closing the GAp between the Falcons at the top. Panthers -3 -125