ibusinesslines.com December 12, 2018

New Orleans Saints 21, Carolina Panthers 9

13 January 2018, 01:30 | Charlene Valdez

New Orleans Saints 21, Carolina Panthers 9

New Orleans Saints 21, Carolina Panthers 9

With less than two minutes remaining, Saints head coach Sean Payton made the curious decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 at Carolina's 47-yard line.

Battered and bruised, depleted by injury, the New Orleans Saints defense was far from its best against Cam Newton and a Carolina passing offense that had struggled for most of the season. It was the second-longest scoring play of Ginn's career. Brees threw for 376 yards and two touchdowns. "I do believe I am the leader of this team and the team goes as I go".

"There's a stress level, when you're dealing with it all the time (as an opposing offence) on the other side of the ball". "I think we've shown offensively that we have a lot of ways to be effective, a lot of weapons to spread the ball around". Overall, Brees found eight different receivers Sunday, posting a gaudy yardage total he topped just once during the regular season.

After another pair of dueling field goals, Carolina threatened early in the fourth quarter, with Newton finally locating his favorite target, Greg Olson, for a 14-yard touchdown to draw the Panthers within five points. That pulled the Panthers to within 24-19. Defensive end Cameron Jordan then joined Bell in bring Newton to the ground.

Newton would get back up and start walking off the field, but before he reached the sideline he fell to the turf and appeared to be out of it. He was taken from the game and was replaced by backup Derek Anderson. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram averaged only 1.9 yards per carry.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was briefly knocked out of the game with about 8 1/2 minutes left, on a sack by Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata. If Brees keeps playing like that, the Saints are a Super Bowl threat. But he couldn't get his team into the end zone often enough, including on a final game-winning drive opportunity that was undone by a controversial intentional-grounding call.

"Yeah, I wanted to play Carolina because I want to see how they operate", Lattimore said. "It would be nice to have the explanation".

Ginn, a former Panthers receiver, celebrated the sweep of his former team by holding up a broom in the locker room. "Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?".

Ron Rivera said he did not get an explanation from the officials... They have nobody but themselves to blame for the loss.

Williams, a third-year pro who missed almost all of his first two seasons with separate injuries, has two interceptions this season and saw increasing playing time in five-defensive-back formations because of Vaccaro's injuries.

Now, Te'o said, "We kind of know who we are and what we can do and what our strengths are. and also what things we need to work on".

The Saints are back in the playoffs after three straight 7-9 seasons.

Around noon, staff members were getting ready for the first wave of fans, and said they've had so many reservations that they can't accept any more, but people are still welcome to walk in. The atmosphere around town was predictably festive, and the crowd that was gathered inside the dome was ridiculously loud and enthusiastic.

The Panthers nearly made enough plays despite falling behind 31-19 with 5:08 left. And obviously, you don't just look at the games you played them. Brees will turn 39 on January 15.

The Saints were improved this season in large part because Brees had so much help. Brees was asked to throw less often.

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