Baltimore’s defense is just as tough as ever, but it now has a dangerous offense to go with it.
The Saints took control of the NFC South with a 28-10 victory over the Panthers last night, their first win in Carolina since 2011. New Orleans enters a three-game home stretch with a 4-4 record, while Carolina (3-5-1), which only has one win in its last seven games, travels to Philadelphia in 10 days.
The Saints are coming off their best game of the year after hammering Green Bay 44-23. However, they have not won a road game this year. The Panthers are hoping to continue that trend, and they will be bringing back a familiar face in running back DeAngelo Williams.
The Saints and Panthers are both 3-4 and yet tied atop the NFC South. New Orleans has an extremely quick turnaround after playing on Sunday night.
The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.
Six weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints suffered their worst loss of the season in a game where they were absolutely demolished by the Seattle Seahawks. Immediately afterward, head coach Sean Payton told his players to put the game behind them because they would get another shot. Payton was right as the Saints are meeting the Seahawks again, and there are four big things they need to do, in order to win.
The Carolina Panthers had to win the last game of the season to get the NFC South title and a first-round bye so it’s not like it was a time they could rest their players. Steve Smith had to sit out with an injury, and there were not a lot of other options for Cam Newton to rely on, but there need to be.
The Carolina Panthers started off the season with a 1-3 start, and were tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second place. It wasn’t a second place that was even close to the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, but the rest of the season proved to turn out completely different.
Drew Brees will be much more successful against the Eagles defense than back-up Kyle Orton was in the final game of the regular season. But, if the Eagles can knock Brees off his game, then the Saints could quickly run out of options to try and keep up wit the Eagles offense.
Both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers sit tied atop the NFC South at 10-4. One of them will emerge as the winner of the conference in two weeks. The question is, who will secure the division title?