New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 10th 2023


From first in the draft to first eliminated from playoff contention, the Carolina Panthers are chasing their second win of the season entering Week 14.

Meanwhile, three consecutive losses have bumped New Orleans down the NFC South standings. The Saints will attempt to renew their playoff hopes when they host the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

The Saints (5-7) were in sole possession of first place in the NFC South before losing to the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago.

“We’re not spending a whole lot of time looking in the rearview mirror,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said. “We’re looking out the front windshield at what’s ahead of us. That’s what we can control.”

Allen might be peeking through the trainer’s room window this week with the status of Derek Carr up in the air because of the quarterback’s second documented concussion in three weeks.

The Saints have lost control of their fate in the division. They rest a game behind Atlanta and in a second-place tie with Tampa Bay. The Falcons and the Buccaneers won their first meetings with New Orleans, and rematches loom the final two games of the regular season.

Allen said he is confident the team won’t allow the season to get away without a second crack at its competitors for the division title.

“We’ve got a good locker room,” Allen said. “We’ve got a lot of veteran players in that locker room. We’ve got to go out and play good football, which we’re going to do.

“There’s still a lot out there for us to play for. We need to win this week. There’s no question about that.”

Carr left a 33-28 loss to the Detroit Lions last week with a concussion plus rib and shoulder ailments, the third time he has been knocked out of a game due to injury this season.

Carr practiced on a limited basis Wednesday but remained in concussion protocol. If he is unable to play, Jameis Winston would be the probable starter. Taysom Hill could continue to get snaps at quarterback, but he missed practice Wednesday with foot and (non-throwing) hand injuries.

New Orleans’ only division victory this season was a 20-17 triumph against the Panthers in Charlotte.

That was in the second game of the season as rookie quarterback Bryce Young and first-year head coach Frank Reich made their home debuts on “Monday Night Football.”

However, Reich was fired two weeks ago and replaced by special teams coordinator Chris Tabor on an interim basis. Carolina lost at Tampa Bay 21-18 last Sunday in its first game under Tabor.

“You can handle things two ways: either with character or compromise,” Tabor said. “I believe in those guys in (the locker room). … I know that they’ll respond because that’s who they are.”

Young was sacked four times last week and has been sacked 44 times this season behind an injury-plagued offensive line.

“Obviously things have not gone the way that we planned results-wise,” Young said. “But it’s a learning experience and I’m improving and we’re growing as a group through this. You can’t let the results change your process.”

Defensive tackle DeShawn Williams (knee) was the only Carolina starter to miss practice Wednesday because of injury.

Saints defensive tackle Malcolm Roach (knee) and safety Marcus Maye (shoulder) were placed on injured reserve Wednesday, while defensive end Cameron Jordan (ankle) and wide receiver Rashid Shaheed (thigh) missed practice.

–Field Level Media

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