The road for the New Orleans Saints does not get any easier after dropping their game with the Seattle Seahawks. Now the team must turn around and play the Carolina Panthers — a team many Saints players feel is identical to the team that defeated them on Monday Night Football.
The numbers agree, too.
First, the numbers from ESPN’s Mike Triplett:
Even though Carolina’s Cam Newton (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) is much bigger than Seattle’s Russell Wilson (5-foot-11, 206) they pose a similar threat to run the ball — or to keep passing plays alive by scrambling outside of the pocket.
Their numbers are almost identical (Newton averages 218 passing yards and 37 rushing yards per game; Wilson 223 and 38).
Now for comments from the Saints defense:
“If you just write down on paper what it is that they do well, they are very similar,” Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “They can extend plays with their legs, they have a big arm and can throw downfield. They run the ball well as a team and they are very patient. That is what we just faced, and that is what we are going to face this week.
“They run the ball all day and then they hit these big, explosive plays down field. Or if something is not there, you have Cam Newton extending the play by getting out of the pocket, running or someone getting open late in the play and he makes the throw.”
Consider the game against the Seahawks a warmup, then. The Saints did a horrible job of taking care of Wilson, but it was a good test before two contests against the Panthers in three weeks.
Time will tell if the Saints can learn from mistakes and turn things around against elite opposition.
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