Panthers team play philosophy could help them power past the Saints


The New Orleans Saints return home to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to try to snap their 3-game losing streak against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

I recently caught up with Chris Schafer of Cat Crave, which is our FanSided affiliate that covers the Carolina Panthers. As part of a weekly segment, we traded a series of questions in regards to the upcoming matchup this Sunday. I’ve asked him several things around the team’s unbeaten start, what has made them successful, and if they can keep it going against the New Orleans Saints.

Let’s go straight to it, why is this team being called the worst 11-0 team? What’s the reality of their unbeaten start that you see?

That is an easy answer. The Panthers are being called the worst 11-0 team because of two things. One, nobody predicted they would be here because they have never been ‘this good’ and the media has never looked at the Panthers as a powerhouse team that is capable of playing this good. Two, with the injuries before the season, Kelvin Benjamin being lost in training camp, Star Lotulelei questionable to start the season, the media pushed the Panthers to the curb right away.

Who are some unsung heroes on both sides of the ball that have helped the Panthers start so strong?

Michael Oher on the offensive side and Kurt Coleman on the defensive side.

You have not heard Oher’s name much this year, and that is a good thing. Since he protects Cam’s blind side (no pun intended), if you hear his name, he likely would have given up a sack. No name heard means Cam Newton is standing upright when the rush comes from behind.

Coleman is second in the league in interceptions and continues to make big plays each week. His pick-six versus Dallas was just the start of the misery for Tony Romo and the Cowboys.

Sean McDermott is getting a lot of attention as the next potential head coach for some respective ball clubs. What’s your take on if he’s ready or not?

Ready? No question about that. Does he want to leave – that’s the bigger question. He has a great thing here in Carolina, and everyone knows a head coaching position is the ultimate goal. But, those potential openings are likely with teams that are not in the best position to be winning in the near future. Therefore, it is a choice for McDermott as to whether he wants to continue his great run here in Carolina, or try that tough opportunity. Either way, he will not be looked at any differently as he will do what is best for him and his family.

The Panthers and Saints have had some memorable battles over the years, what is one of your favorite moments from the series?

Yes, they have. However, it really has to be earlier this year when Josh Norman came out of nowhere and literally ‘flew through the air’ to break up the potential game-winning touchdown pass. It was almost like that was an omen as to the chips falling the right way.

Do the Panthers get to 12-0 and end up wrapping up their 3rd straight NFC South title? What’s the final score, and who are the top performers?

These teams always play each other close, and last year this same game changed the Panthers season in their road win over the Saints, but the Saints defense would have to trade their entire team before Sunday to change the way they have been playing. Top performers – it will be the same as it has been all year – total team play on both sides of the ball.

15. 27. 87. Final. 21

Next: Behind Enemy Lines: Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

On behalf of the Who Dat Dish staff, we’d like to thank Chris for his time, and encourage you to check out more intel on the Panthers at Cat Crave! The Week 13 matchup is set for 3:25PM CST on Sunday, December 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The broadcast will be on FOX as America’s Game of the Week, with Joe Buck handling play-by-play duties, Troy Aikman as the color analyst, and Erin Andrews as the sideline reporter.