New Orleans Saints: 5 Must-Win Games of 2016

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Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on the sideline in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Saints won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on the sideline in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Saints won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 27, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (24) intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) late in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Saints 27-22 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (24) intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) late in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Saints 27-22 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1 – Week 11 at Carolina (11/17)

While the Saints have been able to get the best of the Falcons in the past decade, the Panthers have been a big thorn in the team’s side. The past two seasons have seen the Saints go 1-3 against the Panthers, and only 2-6 against them since the 2012 season. Aside 2014 when the Saints won 28-10 on Thursday Night Football, these past few matchups have been fairly close on the road.

The saying goes, ‘to be the best, you have to beat the best’, and the Panthers have been the best in the NFC South for the past three seasons. If the Saints want to be taken seriously in the division, then they must get a win against Cam Newton and the Panthers at a very pivotal point in the season.

Honorable mentions: Week 7 at Kansas City (10/23), Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay (12/24)

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