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Keys to the Game: Saints vs. Panthers

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Special Teams

Nov 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Houston Texans kicker Shayne Graham (17) kicks the game winning field in the overtime of the Thanksgiving day game to defeat the Detroit Lions 34-31 at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As if I have to expound on this particular key, but the huge focus would be the change at kicker. Hartley’s out, Shayne Graham’s in. You’re likely to see him early in this game, and Who Dat Nation will formulate their own opinions by his first kick.

With Rafael Bush being out, that also means we’re likely to see newer faces of the Saints on Special Teams. For those who may have forgotten, that would be CB Trevin Wade, and the newest addition to the Saints, S Eric Frampton. Ted Ginn Jr. did rattle off some pretty good returns on the Saints during the last game, and he’s always someone to account for.

What To Watch For: The placement and exchange of the snap during field goal attempts. You already know that Luke McCown was used to Hartley, and rightfully so when you play the entire season together. Let’s also not forget about the threat of bad weather, and how that could affect decisions for field goals to going for it.

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