Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Saints march into divisional round with win over Panthers

Cam Newton Cam Newton
Beatrice Douglas | 08 January, 2018, 03:55

He can't play like he did in a shocking 17-3 loss at Chicago in Week 7, when he got sacked five times, posted a 54.9 QB rating, provided a helping hand in two Bears defensive TDs and looked more and more disinterested with each squandered possession. The former Ohio State Buckeye will get to match talents with former MI wide receiver Devin Funchess, who leads the Panthers with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. The Vikings handled New Orleans 29-19 in Week 1, but both teams look different since that November 11 matchup.

Prior to Ginn's touchdown, Carolina's defense had quarterback Drew Brees looking a little discombobulated, and had held the Saints to minus-9 yards of offense on its first two drives of the game.

When Newton is accurate, efficient and can extend plays and create yards with his legs, the Panthers can beat anybody.

If Carolina quarterback Cam Newton doesn't don his cape and play like a superhero in Sunday's NFC wildcard game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the Black and Gold likely will complete the rare trifecta and advance to the divisional round. But Newton, Carolina's leading rusher this season, didn't run much in two losses to New Orleans, gaining 67 yards on nine carries. Carolina still lost 31-21, but the 2015 MVP feels he's a more effective player when not chained to the pocket.

"That's my edge", Newton said. I mean, he was injured.


"I don't think that is overplayed". "I'm comfortable running the football".

The late game between the Panthers and the Saints is the third meeting between the two teams. "I feel like I help the team when I'm running the football". "There's not much you can say bad about him - a guy, who when he's healthy, is probably a top-tier cornerback in this league". The threat he presents through the air could ease coverage on wideout Devin Funchess and scatback Christian McCaffrey while potentially benefiting the ground game.

4 seed Saints win will advance it to play at No. 2 seed Minnesota (13-3) next Sunday at 3:40 p.m. on FOX as No. 6 seed Atlanta (11-6) eliminated No. 3 seed Los Angeles Saturday night, 26-13, and will play at No. 1 seed Philadelphia (13-3) at 3:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC.

"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. And then it helps the passing game in play action. "We have to figure out what went well and improve on that and what went wrong and correct that".

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