Prediction – Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Today the Carolina Panthers play the New Orleans Saints in a game that could ultimately decide who win the NFC South division. The Saints easily defeated the Panthers earlier this year, which started their 8 game win streak. In fact, it looks as though the Carolina Panthers were the “get right” game for the Saints. Ouch.

But since then, the Carolina Panthers have improved. Now that Cam Newton’s shoulder is healthy enough, Newton is again running the ball. That fact alone has put a bandaid over the awful job offensive coordinator Mike Shula has done over the years. Much like the entire 2015 season, Newton’s heroics have been able to elevate the offense just enough to win despite Shula, not because of him.

So how will this play out today? Word broke overnight that tight end Greg Olsen will likely not play in today’s game. That hurts this team a great deal. The good news is speedy wide receiver Damiere Byrd is back, but his production won’t come close to what Olsen could provide.

On the other side of the ball it looks like standout rookie corner Lattimore won’t play for the Saints today. This is good news for the Panthers as their passing attack hasn’t looked exactly efficient lately. If Cam Newton’s thumb is still the least bit sore, this is going to be a long game for the Panthers. The Saints are not the Jets. A poor offensive showing today and and there will be a blowout in the Big Easy.

I would love to sit here and tell you the Carolina Panthers will win easily today. Unfortunately, their horrible offensive showing after the bye week keeps me from being able to make that prediction. Until proven otherwise, the New Orleans Saints are the most complete team in the NFC South currently. They are playing at home where Drew Brees is most comfortable. Any way you slice it, they have the edge.

My heart says Panthers, my head says Saints.

New Orleans – 31

Carolina – 24

Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.

Jeremy Igo is owner of Carolina Huddle. Based in Charlotte, he has covered the Carolina Panthers for over a decade.