Апреля 24, 2018

Saints win nail-biter over the Panthers to advance in playoffs

13 Января 2018, 01:27 | Joan Schultz

The New Orleans Saints Now Play in the No Fun League

The New Orleans Saints Now Play in the No Fun League

Needless to say, at that juncture of the game with Carolina trailing by five points, the call was crushing for the Panthers. New Orleans beat the Panthers, 31-21, in the dome on December 3 and won, 34-13, at Carolina on September 24. In the 2016 season opener, a primetime rematch of Super Bowl 50 between the Broncos and Panthers, Newton was relentlessly battered, including absorbing multiple helmet-to-helmet hits.

The Vikings have a 2-1 playoff series edge over New Orleans, winning a wild-card game in 1987 and a divisional game in 2000. "You have ice in your veins", said Bell, who combined with Jordan with:06 to go to put a 31-26 Saints' victory on ice. Fullback Zach line and running back Alvin Kamara each ran for short touchdowns, the latter set up by Michael Thomas' 46-yard reception. Newton tried to jog to the sideline, but dropped to both knees about 10 yards away from the Carolina bench.

Newton was evaluated for a possible concussion. "It was very clear that they were determined to play (against) the run, so there were probably going to be some plays on the outside".

Who knew it would be a former Panther to make the biggest play of the first half.

The Saints (11-5) defeated the Panthers 34-13 in Week 3 and 31-21 in Week 13.

Bell provided coverage of a third-down incompletion from Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to wide receiver Devin Funchess.

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - For Saints coach Sean Payton and his players, it's a bit of a stretch to call their return to Minnesota a rematch.

The only Vikings player remaining from the 2009 NFC championship game is defensive end Brian Robison.

Cam Newton threw a fourth quarter strike to Greg Olsen, only for Alvin Kamara to respond again, and another to Christian McCaffrey - a attractive 56-yard touchdown that saw the rookie blaze a trail into the endzone.

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Carolina spent the entire 2017 season trying to find its deep threat at receiver, working through injuries to heir-apparent rookie second-round pick Curtis Samuel and lightning-fast Damiere Byrd before turning to Kaelin Clay.

The Saints' defense played lights out for three quarters, holding the Panthers to four field goals.

The late penalty came with a 10 second run-off, which ran the game clock down to 22 seconds.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Freeny (55) celebrates his sack of Carolina's Cam Newton.

Despite their production during the regular season, Ingram touched the ball four times and Kamara touched it three times in the first half on Sunday.

But Gano's long field goal on the last play of the first half got the Panthers within 21-9 at the break. Ginn breaking free for an 80-yard touchdown broke the Saints out of a brief case of the offensive doldrums - they had punted quickly on their first two possessions - and turned the game on its axis.

In the more than 47 minutes before Olson's touchdown, all the Panthers points came from the toe of Gano.

In the National Football League money exchange, touchdowns trump field goals, and that's exactly what the Saints did in taking a 21-9 halftime lead over the Panthers: three touchdowns to three field goals.

So much for the theory that it's too hard to beat a team three times in a season.

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