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Saints' win over Carolina 31-26; will face the Vikings

08 January, 2018, 03:52 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Saints' win over Carolina 31-26; will face the Vikings

But after Sunday, he'll be remembered as the one that got away - literally - for four catches, 115 yards, a touchdown, and a trip to Minnesota for next Sunday's divisional playoffs.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints snuck past the Carolina Panthers 31-26 Sunday, setting up a divisional round matchup with the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium for January 14.

The Pro Bowl running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara helped the Saints rush for 149 and 148 yards in two games against Carolina, the two highest rushing totals allowed by Carolina this season.

New Orleans has already rendered Carolina's offense one-dimensional once this season, holding Newton to 167 passing yards in a Week 3 game the Panthers lost at home 34-13. Let's take a look.

Newton's words seem to hold added meaning given his struggles in recent weeks, and it's worth wondering if the Panthers can win if he doesn't play better. In Week 3, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was phenomenal, passing for 220 yards and three scores.

Cam Newton rolled up to his weekly press conference, brow furrowed, and spoke of added focus.

Brian Robison is the only current player remaining on the Vikings roster who endured that tragic loss, but there are a few familiar faces on the other sideline - Brees and head coach Sean Payton.

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Six times, Carolina drove the ball inside the Saints 21-yard line.

But the problem for New Orleans is possible overconfidence, while human nature says Carolina will be motivated.

Beyond that, however, the Saints coach asserts that teams evolve over the course of a season as they develop chemistry and adjust to roster or positional changes brought on by injuries.

"It's going to be a big deal for us to get the running game going early", running back Cameron Artis-Payne told USA TODAY Sports.

Gano managed to rebound from his chip-shot miss, making field goals of 27, 39 and 58 yards - the last coming as the half expired - to keep Carolina within striking distance, 21-9. It's also imperative for Carolina to get pressure on Brees. "You look at what they've been doing over the last four or five weeks". "They took him in there as a precautionary just to make sure, but when he was sitting on the ground, they were trying to wipe whatever when he got popped". Newton will be outstanding, he just won't receive enough help from his defense as Brees will again have another strong performance.

The third time was not a charm for the Carolina Panthers.

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