Saints News

Keys to the Game: Saints vs. Panthers

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Closing Thoughts

Dec 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) intercepts a pass intended for New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Did You Know?

  • Jimmy Graham has just two more chances to set his record, as he needs a 100-yard receiving game to break Tony Gonzalez’s previous record for receiving games by a tight end.
  • This will be the 38th meeting between these two clubs. Carolina leads the all-time series 19-18.
  • Sean Payton is 3-3 against the Panthers on the road
  • Overall, the Saints are 3-4 against the Panthers on the road since 2006
  • The Saints are a career .500 (9-9) on the road against the Panthers dating back to 1995 (Expansion Season)

The Playoff Picture

The Saints will clinch the NFC South and a first-round bye with a win. The Saints can clinch a playoff spot through a tie plus Cardinals loss; tie plus 49ers loss or tie; tie plus Cardinals tie; or 49ers loss and Cardinals tie.

Saints Injury Report

  • DOUBTFUL: S Rafael Bush (Ankle) / Did Not Practice
  • QUESTIONABLE: TE Josh Hill (Hamstring) / Limited, LB Keyunta Dawson (Calf) / Limited
  • PROBABLE: RB Travaris Cadet (Non Football Related) / Did Not Practice

Everything is at stake here. As I mentioned in a previous article this week, this game will define the Saints 2013 Season. A win restores confidence, and could propel them into something further for the postseason. It’s called momentum for a reason.

Just food for thought, but think of the personnel changes made this week by Coach Payton this way. It happens in so many different sports in big games (i.e. baseball, hockey, basketball), and you can track history that proves these were smart moves. Whether that’s the case on Sunday, we’ll see. The Panthers are 6-1 at home, and the Saints 3-4 on the road.

In my previous Keys to the Game with these two, I thought this game would have been decided in the final two minutes when the Saints played the Panthers on Sunday Night Football, but that never happened. However, I’m saying it again. I honestly think that this game will go down to the last quarter, and is likely to be decided by four points or less. I like our boys to right things here, despite everything that has happened. Sean Payton should have his team focused, and they should show up to play how we all know they should be playing.


Final Prediction: Saints 27, Panthers 23

What’s your final game prediction? Let us know below!

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