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Saints season-long dominance of Panthers continues in 31-26 wildcard win

08 January 2018

For the first time since the 2013 playoffs, one division sent three teams to the National Football League 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.

Prior to Ginn's touchdown, Carolina's defense had quarterback Drew Brees looking a little discombobulated, and had held the Saints to minus-9 yards of offense on its first two drives of the game.

"Both teams ended the season 11-5, but while Carolina's Cam Newton - at 28 years old - still has plenty of years ahead of him, time might be running out on New Orleans" Drew Brees.

He can't misfire on his first nine passes, throw three picks and post a career-low 31.5 QB rating as he did in a 22-10 loss in Week 17 at Atlanta, in part preventing the Panthers from overtaking the Saints and winning the NFC South. Luke Kuechly and the Panthers linebacking corps will face a tall task in slowing down the Saints dynamic rushers.

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Kyrgios had earlier battled back from a set down to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 1-6 6-3 6-3 on Friday to book his spot in the semi-finals.

Lattimore and fellow Saints defenders not only have to address their recent back-sliding as a unit, but also for the presence of star Carolina tight end Greg Olsen, who didn't play in either of these teams' previous two meetings this season. New Orleans then lost to the NFC number three seed Rams before beating Carolina by 10 at home.

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

Thomas caught eight passes for 131 yards on a day when the Saints needed the passing game to compensate for a ground game that struggled to get going. The team that won the two regular season matchups is 13-7 SU in those 20 instances.

"I think this team is at its best when doubt is overwhelming against them", Shepard said on the Panthers website.

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That's right - it's possible for the Vikings to defeat the Saints and Falcons en route to Super Bowl LII, payback from two of the more crushing losses in franchise history - 2010 to the Saints and the NFC Championship game loss to Atlanta in 1999. Newton has averaged 12.5 carries for 59.7 yards per game in Carolina's past four games.

Not only does Olsen provide quarterback Cam Newton with a top-tier target, but he's enjoyed success against the Saints in the past. "You look at what they've been doing over the last four or five weeks". If you have any questions or comments, make them during the program and we will try to use them.

"We start this time of year, and everyone is starting from scratch", he said.

Notes: LT Terron Armstead (thigh), DE Trey Hendrickson (ankle) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion) all practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday after not playing in Tampa Bay last Sunday.

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Saints season-long dominance of Panthers continues in 31-26 wildcard win