Week 17 – vs Panthers (Sunday, Jan. 2 — 12:00 CST)
The Saints faced Carolina two weeks into their 2021 season and won’t play them again until the second-to-last game of the regular season. When the two faced off in Week 2, the Saints had eight coaches out due to COVID and were missing several players due to injury. The final score reflected those absences.
This time around, both teams have gone through the ringer, especially at the quarterback position. Carolina lost Sam Darnold to the IR (he should be back in time for this game, so take that for what it’s worth) and rolled with P.J. Walker and eventually reunited with Cam Newton.
The Saints can relate to the lack of a stable quarterback, having started three different signal-callers this season. Winston started the Week 2 loss and didn’t play well but now it’ll likely be Taysom Hill going against either Darnold or Newton.
A big part of the Panthers’ success isn’t tied to their quarterback strangely enough. When they have Christian McCaffrey, they’re a completely different team and fortunately for the Saints, the Panthers will be without McCaffrey for this one, as he’s on IR and done for the season. While we don’t wish for injuries, Saints fans know all too well how McCaffrey can take over games, so the Saints have a chance in this one.