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Behind Enemy Lines - New Orleans

Dec 06 2013 04:41 AM Zod Carolina Panthers
Sunday night presents to us the biggest game the Carolina Panthers have played in nearly 5 years. If they Panthers can somehow pull out a victory against the Saints in New Orleans and the division title is the Panthers to lose. A loss in New Orleans would force the Panthers to require a little help from here on out from around the league.

Either way, Panthers fans once again are excited about a December game, and that is something worth celebrating in and of itself.

The Saints also know how important this game is.

From NOLA.com

"We know what's at stake," Drew Brees said. "... This game is the most important game of the season."

Drew Brees and the Saints are notorious for downplaying the significance of individual games. Not this week.

Saints coach Sean Payton agrees.

"It is playing an important game with regards to the division," Payton said. "It's a Sunday night game at home, those are things that you get excited about. I think at this point in the year playing in a division race like we are, I think both teams will be ready and excited.


According to NOLA.com , Saints defense is struggling on third down....

But since holding Dallas to 0-for-9 on third down Nov. 10, that number has been creeping back up. The San Francisco 49ers converted 6-of-15 (40 percent) of their third downs, while the Atlanta Falcons were 6-of-12. The Seahawks were 7-of-14 on third down Monday, a season high for the Saints' defense. In contrast, Carolina allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to convert just 1-of-10 third downs last Sunday. "We've just got to execute," said Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro. "We haven't been getting off the field as much on third down."

Giving up 50% of third down conversions over the last month is nothing to write home about and has much to do with why the Saints are 4-3 in the last 7 games. Looks for heavy doses of Mike Tolbert on third downs to loosen up the Saints defense even more.


Drew Brees knows the Panthers Defense is top shelf...

"They're excellent," Brees said. "There's not a defense that's playing better than these guys. In every statistical category they're tops. Playing with a lot of confidence, they don't have a weak link."

Brees sees the game on Sunday night as an opportunity for vindication. He has a national platform to show the rest of the league the Saints are not the team that was whooped on Monday night, but rather a Superbowl contender. I expect to see the Saints come out throwing on Sunday night.

If the Panthers can keep it close in the first half, I like their chances. I am not sure they can keep up with New Orleans on their home turf if they go down by two scores. Mike Shula needs to have a solid game plan to move the ball efficiently from the first whistle. A few early punts could be the difference in the game.

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:: before

Stop Jimmy Graham and I'll be happy.... for now.

I need to get more posts so I have more options on my account.  So... yeah.  Go Cats!

I'd rather lose to Drew Brees than Matt Ryan.  But that's just me.  I don't care for Matty.

Stop Jimmy Graham and I'll be happy.... for now.

He's gonna get the Gronk treatment with extra crunch, I hope.

Like the info on the Saints 3rd downs. Couple that with the success Cam is having on 3rd down and that could be a great key in the game.



Very possible


The key will be getting Breesus off the field on 3rd down.

Do that and we win easily.


The key will be getting Breesus off the field on 3rd down.
Do that and we win easily.

Wouldn't it be better to take advantage of their weakness (allowing 3rd Down completions) and our strength (competing 3rds)? That way you're not trying to get Brees off the field, you're not allowing him to get on the field

This game might depend on the play of our safeties not biting on play action. If our D maintains their discipline on play fakes we could win this game walking home.

That's a great point. In fact, I have enough faith in our front seven I would instruct our safeties to never even consider a play fake, never even take a peek in the backfield.

Damn, I hope Brees says "we are gonna blow out Carolina"...

If the Panthers come out this week like they did against the Dolphins, they will lose this game.


I doubt Panthers will sleep on those Aints this time.

I think a real key to this game will be how Cam handles the all out blitz which Ryan will bring early and often.  Ryan is looking at the Miami game where they blitzed early and loaded the box to try and take away the run. Frankly it worked and it made it difficult for us to get anything established.  When they did the same thing to Wilson he eluded the blitz and found receivers over the top for big gains.  Ryan's defense is a high risk high reward kind of defense. You have to beat it early and he will back off the heavy blitz and they will be exposed as they were on Monday night.


On defense it will come down to how well we play in man coverage and taking away the big play.  They will take shots deep against us within the first 5 plays to try and get a big score plus loosen up the underneath.  If we can play well 1 on 1 and stop the deep shots we should be fine.  If not it could be a long day.


With Tolbert in our back field, I guess I should be fine with the blitz.

Alot of people seem to be thinking that the Saints will be a push-over, that we will stroll onto the field and they will be in such awe of Cam and Co that they will just forfeit the game.... better put your reality caps back on guys, this will be a slugfest right down to the wire. Could come down to who has the ball last...

I don't see anybody thinking that. I see a lot of fans beinging very realistic.

Your right, this game can be close, or we can dominate them.

I honestly don't even care as long as we win.

9-3 Panthers vs 9-3 Bucs from '08..................  I think we'll do to the saints what we did to the Bucs...  I think we rack up over 200 yards rushing on the Saints,   giving their offense only around 6 or 7 total possessions.


That game was also the end of Jon Gruden's career. (Well the beginning of the end) They lost 3 of 4 and missed the playoffs (I think)

The Saints and 49er game gives me a fair amount of confidence for this game.The Saints only scored 23 in that game and one touchdown came from a big kickoff return and the saints had about 10 yards to go to score a touchdown. Believe it or not, We can hold the Saints offense to under 20 points. The biggest match up this game is our offense vs their defense. If the Saints are going to win this game, Their defense needs to come to the party. Put up 23-30 and do not turn the ball over, We'll have a good chance to win this game. 

Luke. , remember that drew brees. Is a flopping flopper !

Agreed. Though, I don't think they will. knowing the stakes for this game.

Nerves for the young players may be an issue though. BIG game. but it's the Next game that's the biggest right? here's hope'n they stay the course and play ball!

I think it's nerves for the veterans. Rookies don't know any better and because they haven't experienced losing, they won't be as nervous as the guys who have been here. I hope Cam is able to settle down and play like he does for 1 pm games.

I think some of you are forgetting how extremely difficult it is to sweep even an average divisional opponent.

The Saints are a good team. Sweeping them will be a HUGE accomplishment.

I am so excited for this game I can't stand it! IMO there are 3 keys to success here: Win the TO battle, control the clock, take away the deep ball. We got this, cats!!



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Dec 07 2013 03:19 PM

A welcome difference to now and the past late season games is that this one matters.  I remember them resting their starters because they had the division and advantages.  This is good.  This is real good.

if our d gets INTs and fumbles



tunrovers will win us this game




Maybe, but we'd still need to win the other games we play against ATL and NYJ. Easier than beating the Saints? Yes, but not a given.

Nope. If we sweep the saints we could lose to the jets and Atlanta and we still win the division. We would almost certainly have the number 2 seed as well.
Were ready for war.. Let's have a fuging war!!
Cam newtons wallet says bad mother fuger
Dec 07 2013 07:41 PM

I watched (NBC)WXII 12 news tonight.  At the end the president  WXII came on and made an enjoy the game speach.  Clearly tickled shipless to have this game.

Dec 07 2013 07:53 PM

Just W!