Panthers at Saints - Playbook for the NFC Wild Card round

Panthers running backs cut wrestling promo for Saints playoff

To get that done, they'll need the offensive line to do their jobs and win their individual matchups. In Week 3, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was phenomenal, passing for 220 yards and three scores.

Well, this season the New Orleans Saints have been running the ball much more than ever, terrorizing the league with the NFL's top running back tandem: Alvin Kamara and former Heisman Trophy victor Mark Ingram.

Saints head coach Sean Payton almost cost his team the game when he made a decision to go for it on 4th & short with a 5-point lead, rather than punting the ball and trying to pin the Panther deep with less than two minutes remaining. But Newton, Carolina's leading rusher this season, didn't run much in two losses to New Orleans, gaining 67 yards on nine carries.

The Panthers also sit at 11-5 but a pair of losses to the Saints has Carolina playing this game on the road.

Meanwhile, Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen and Saints Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore are slated to play after missing each of the previous two meetings.

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Two plays after Graham Gano surprisingly missed a 25-yard field-goal attempt for only his second miss this season, the Saints used a big play to take a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter of New Orleans' playoff matchup with Carolina. He is the midday host at Sports 1280 New Orleans, Midday Host Weekdays-Noon-2pm at Sports 1280 New Orleans/101.1 FM and Television Host at WLAE-TV. When the teams met again in December, in what was ostensibly a game to decide the NFC South championship, the results were not much better, with Newton held under two hundred yards passing again and frequently looking perplexed. New Orleans beat the Panthers, 31-21, in the dome on December 3 and won, 34-13, at Carolina on September 24. Newton has averaged 12.5 carries for 59.7 yards per game in Carolina's past four games.

Expect the Saints to apply plenty of pressure on Newton.

"We take pride in being good at stopping the run", Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis said. If you have any questions or comments, make them during the program and we will try to use them. "Not having him is significant and having him is huge", Saints coach Sean Payton said.

Philadelphia players have played in 74 playoff games and Minnesota's 69, while the Los Angeles Rams are the least experienced NFC playoff team with 21. "What we were during the preseason wasn't a fluke; it's something we can truly be.' And we rolled with it from there", Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said of that Week 3 awakening.

Saints: DE Trey Henderson (ankle), OL Terron Armstead (thigh) are QUESTIONABLE.

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