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New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers Pick & Prediction JAN 3TH 2021

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New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers Recap JAN 3TH 2021

Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes as the New Orleans Saints geared up for the postseason by smashing the host Carolina Panthers 42-10 in the regular-season finale Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

New Orleans (13-3), aiming for a first-weekend bye and potentially overall homefield advantage, would have to await results involving Green Bay and the San Francisco-Seattle game to determine its NFC seed.

Brees finished 19-for-30 for 253 yards.

The Panthers (5-11) lost their eighth game in a row as they finished in last place in the NFC South. They were 0-4 under interim coach Perry Fewell since the firing of coach Ron Rivera.

New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara rushed for two touchdowns, scoring from 15 and 1 yards for the first two touchdowns of the game.

Linebacker A.J. Klein, a former Panther, intercepted a Will Grier pass and returned it 14 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.

Brees threw second-quarter touchdown passes to Tre'Quan Smith for 1 yard and to Jared Cook for 21 yards.

The Saints held a 35-0 lead by late in the second quarter on the way to sweeping the season series from the Panthers. Carolina finally scored on Joey Slye's 23-yard field goal with 36 seconds left in the first half.

In the third quarter, Brees connected with Taysom Hill for a 45-yard touchdown play.

Quarterback Kyle Allen was 25 of 41 for 295 yards for the Panthers. He was intercepted in the end zone on the team's final possession of the season.

Grier, starting in his second NFL game and his first at home, exited in the first half with a foot injury. Grier was 1-for-8 for 4 yards before departing.

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. He finished with 26 yards on nine carries and 72 yards on seven catches. He became the third player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, joining Marshall Faulk (1999) and Roger Craig (1985).

Carolina struggled to get a first down in the first half, going deep into the second quarter with only one first down -- and that came via a penalty.

--Field Level Media

The New Orleans Saints still have things to accomplish in the final game of the regular season on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

The Saints are on the verge of dominating the NFC South in an unprecedented fashion when they visit Charlotte, N.C.

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That's just part of the objective.

"I just want to be playing our best football," New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said. "I want to be as sharp as we possibly can, understanding that obviously we're still missing a few guys that hopefully we'll have when we get to the playoffs."

The Saints (11-4) can clinch the overall No. 1 seed in the NFC and a subsequent first-weekend bye in the playoffs if they win at Carolina (5-10) along with a Seattle (11-4) victory at San Francisco (6-9) and a loss by Green Bay (12-3) at Chicago (8-7).

"We just have to keep playing our game," Saints offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk said. "... The stakes are high right now."

Already, New Orleans has secured its fourth straight NFC South title. A victory against the Panthers would mean the Saints complete a six-game sweep of the other NFC South teams, which is something no team in the division has ever accomplished.

"You understand how hard it is to win the division," Brees said. "Week-in and week-out, there are so many battles. ... That would be a great accomplishment. At the end of the day, it's just getting another win, which just better positions ourselves for the playoffs."

Carolina won for just the second time in a 10-game span with last weekend's conquering of Washington. Yet the Panthers are accustomed to taking on first-place teams as this will mark their fifth game in a nine-game stretch against a divisional leader.

With a first-year staff under new coach Matt Rhule, the Panthers are trying to set a foundation that will be beneficial in the future.

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"For us to have this new staff, new players, it's about building each and every week," Carolina safety Tre Boston said. "I told y'all a few weeks back: When that wall on the house is just one wall, everybody is going to say stuff about it, but as we build this house and make it a home, we're going to be one to reckon with."

The Panthers, who posted a November shutout of the Detroit Lions, held Washington without a touchdown until the last two minutes.

"A lot of points this season, we were really searching to find our identity and find out what we do and what we have -- and that's what we're doing," Carolina cornerback Donte Jackson said. "We were in a search trying to find our identity, but we found it."

The Saints aim to build on their reputation and be in position for a long playoff run.

"Understand exactly what wins football games and let's make sure we're doing all those things," said Brees, who pointed out it's important for the offense to retain timing and rhythm.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara's NFL record-matching six-touchdown performance against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas night showed what the team is capable of doing with its talent-laden offense.

"Over time," Brees said, "it wears defenses down."

Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has another opportunity to face New Orleans. Last year with the Saints, he filled in for an injured Brees during a midseason stretch.

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This is the final chance for Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn to make a case for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

"It has been my goal to finish the season strong," said Chinn, who has 110 tackles, five passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a sack to go along with scoring two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey won't play in the finale. He appeared in just three games this season. Running back Mike Davis (ankle) and receiver Robby Anderson (groin) also sat out Wednesday's practice.

The Saints defeated the Panthers 27-24 on Oct. 25, with the outcome not decided until a late-game field-goal attempt from 65 yards out was just short for Carolina's Joey Slye.

New Orleans has defeated the Panthers in the last three meetings and in seven of the teams' past eight games.

Attendance will be limited to 1,500, with only family and friends of team members permitted entry, because of increased concerns in the Charlotte area regarding the coronavirus pandemic. This is a change from most of the season, when more than 5,000 fans were allowed to purchase tickets for Carolina home games.

--Field Level Media

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New Orleans Saints

Carolina Panthers

Player Position Lineup
Alex Anzalone primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Terron Armstead primary: Left Tackle Starter
Drew Brees primary: Quarterback Starter
Malcom Brown primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Demario Davis primary: Middle Linebacker Starter
Nick Easton primary: Right Guard Starter
Garrett Griffin primary: Tight End Starter
Trey Hendrickson primary: Left Defensive End Starter
Janoris Jenkins primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Cameron Jordan primary: Left Defensive End Starter
Marshon Lattimore primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Erik McCoy primary: Center Starter
David Onyemata primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Ryan Ramczyk primary: Right Tackle Starter
Emmanuel Sanders primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Malcolm Jenkins primary: Strong Safety Starter
Andrus Peat primary: Left Guard Starter
P.J. Williams primary: Free Safety Starter
Zack Baun primary: Strong Outside Linebacker Starter
Adam Trautman primary: Tight End Starter
Tony Jones Jr. primary: Runningback Starter
Marquez Callaway primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Austin Carr primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Jared Cook primary: Tight End Substitution
Marcus Davenport primary: Defensive End Substitution
Kaden Elliss primary: Linebacker Substitution
Carl Granderson primary: Defensive End Substitution
J.T. Gray primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Ethan Greenidge primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Chase Hansen primary: Linebacker Substitution
Justin Hardee primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Taysom Hill primary: Quarterback Substitution
Lil'Jordan Humphrey primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Wil Lutz primary: Kicker Substitution
Thomas Morstead primary: Punter Substitution
Sheldon Rankins primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Craig Robertson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Shy Tuttle primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Zach Wood primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Cesar Ruiz primary: Center Substitution
Jameis Winston primary: Quarterback Substitution
Juwan Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Andrew Dowell primary: Linebacker Substitution
Ty Montgomery primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
James Hurst primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Grant Haley primary: Cornerback Substitution
Ken Crawley primary: Cornerback Substitution
Tommylee Lewis primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Will Clapp primary: Center Not active
Josh Hill primary: Tight End Not active
Marcus Williams primary: Safety Not active
Malcolm Roach primary: Defensive Linesman Not active
Derrick Kelly primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Jake Kumerow primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Player Position Lineup
Jermaine Carter primary: Linebacker Starter
Donte Jackson primary: Cornerback Starter
Chris Manhertz primary: Tight End Starter
DJ Moore primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Taylor Moton primary: Right Tackle Starter
Matt Paradis primary: Center Starter
Chris Reed primary: Left Guard Starter
Ian Thomas primary: Tight End Starter
Shaq Thompson primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Tre Boston primary: Free Safety Starter
Juston Burris primary: Strong Safety Starter
John Miller primary: Right Guard Starter
Teddy Bridgewater primary: Quarterback Starter
Robby Anderson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Derrick Brown primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Yetur Gross-Matos primary: Defensive End Starter
Jeremy Chinn primary: Strong Outside Linebacker Starter
Bravvion Roy primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Michael Schofield primary: Left Tackle Starter
Adarius Taylor primary: Linebacker Starter
Rasul Douglas primary: Cornerback Starter
Rodney Smith primary: Runningback Starter
Alex Armah primary: Fullback Substitution
Corn Elder primary: Cornerback Substitution
Marquis Haynes primary: Defensive End Substitution
J.J. Jansen primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Tyler Larsen primary: Center Substitution
Curtis Samuel primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Joey Slye primary: Kicker Substitution
Brandon Zylstra primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Pharoh Cooper primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Tahir Whitehead primary: Linebacker Substitution
P.J. Walker primary: Quarterback Substitution
Zach Kerr primary: Nose Tackle Substitution
Stantley Thomas-Oliver III primary: Cornerback Substitution
Colin Thompson primary: Tight End Substitution
Myles Hartsfield primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Sam Franklin primary: Safety Substitution
Joseph Charlton primary: Punter Substitution
Trenton Cannon primary: Runningback Substitution
Julian Stanford primary: Linebacker Substitution
Austin Larkin primary: Defensive End Substitution
Efe Obada primary: Defensive End Substitution
Kenny Robinson primary: Safety Substitution
Matt Kaskey primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Clay Johnston primary: Linebacker Substitution
Tommy Stevens primary: Quarterback Substitution
Brian Burns primary: Defensive End Not active
Mike Davis primary: Runningback Not active
Will Grier primary: Quarterback Not active
Woodrow Hamilton primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Natrell Jamerson primary: Defensive Back Not active
Christian McCaffrey primary: Runningback Not active
Aaron Monteiro primary: Offensive Tackle Did not play
Russell Okung primary: Offensive Tackle Not active

New Orleans Saints

Carolina Panthers

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Joey Slye
    • Rusher: Rodney Smith
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 18 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Jared Cook
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Passer: Drew Brees
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 33 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Wil Lutz
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 8 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Passer: Drew Brees
    • Pass Receiver: Emmanuel Sanders
  • Period 3
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 3 Yards
    • Rusher: Taysom Hill
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
  • MIN 11
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 48 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Wil Lutz
  • Period 4
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 11 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Austin Carr
    • Conv Kicker: Wil Lutz
    • Passer: Drew Brees
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • Tampa Bay L 30 - 20
  • Chicago W 9 - 21
  • @Carolina W 33 - 7
  • Minnesota W 33 - 52
  • Kansas City L 32 - 29
  • @Philadelphia L 21 - 24
  • @Atlanta W 21 - 16
  • @Denver W 31 - 3
  • Atlanta W 9 - 24
  • San Francisco W 13 - 27
W 20% L 80%
2 8
  • New Orleans L 33 - 7
  • @Washington W 20 - 13
  • @Green Bay L 16 - 24
  • Denver L 32 - 27
  • @Minnesota L 27 - 28
  • Detroit W 0 - 20
  • Tampa Bay L 46 - 23
  • @Kansas City L 31 - 33
  • Atlanta L 25 - 17
  • @New Orleans L 24 - 27

Last Meetings

  • Saints @ Panthers 33-7
  • Panthers @ Saints 24-27
  • Saints @ Panthers 42-10
  • Panthers @ Saints 31-34
  • Panthers @ Saints 33-14
  • Saints @ Panthers 12-9
  • Panthers @ Saints 26-31
  • Panthers @ Saints 21-31
  • Saints @ Panthers 34-13
  • Saints @ Panthers 20-23

American Football Conference

AFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
AFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
AFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
AFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

NFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
NFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
NFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
NFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries