PANTHERS VS SAINTS LIVE STREAMING PLAYOFF – The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers meet for the third time this season on Sunday. The Saints meet their divisional rival in the friendly confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where they have not hosted a playoff game since defeating the Detroit Lions in January, 2012. The Saints defeated Carolina in their two previous meeting this year, a 34-13 October win in Carolina, followed by a 31-21 defeat of the Panthers in early December. Watch CAROLINA PANTHERS VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS LIVE STREAMING: NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS 2018 on your PC, laptop, Mac, I-pad, Tab, Ps4/3, I-phone Android or any other online device.
Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints NFL Wild Card
Where: Mercedez-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
When: January 7 2018, 4:40 PM EST
TV Broadcast: Fox
Carolina Panthers (11-5) –
The Carolina Panthers lost both games against the New Orleans Saints this season, with run defense being the key culprit. While they (Panthers) boasted the third-best run defense in the league this year (88.1 rushing yards per game), they somehow gave up 149 and 148 yards in each respective loss the Saints. New Orleans’ offensive line simply dominated this matchup and if the Panthers expect to have a shot at a victory this Sunday, they must win the battle on the scrimmage line.
Carolina also has to step up on the offense end, because the Saints have gotten under their skin there too, holding the squad to just 288 yards (or less) in both 2017 season games. The Panthers need to successfully run the football, maintain themselves in short third downs, and move the chains with a high rate of occurrence. But since they have not been able to accomplish this against the Saints in the regular season, one has to ask, will the playoffs be any different?
New Orleans Saints (11-5) –
New Orleans have run the football well this season, converting slightly under half of their third downs while dominating the time of possession. Where the Panthers need to make some changes heading into wild card weekend, the Saints simply need to keep delivering more of the same.
Many experts chalk this up to an offense-versus-defense battle, but the Saints’ defensive unit has been pretty damn solid this season as well. They allowed just over 20 points per game during the regular season, which is the same as Carolina. That’s a scary thought for the Panthers who are offensively inferior. The Saints also ranked better than the Panthers in pass defense and held opposing QBs to a less favorable quarterback rating.
Factor in the fact that New Orleans enjoys home advantage, where they went 7-1 this season with double digit wins in four of their last five at home, and you can just feel the Panthers (2-3 in their last five road games) shaking in their paws.
The Saints may be catching a break once again in terms of Cam Newton’s fitness to play. In September, he was limited by a shoulder injury. This time, the thumb on his throwing hand is injured. If the Panthers struggle to move the ball through the air, that limitation plays to the strength of New Orleans’ defense.
The stakes for this game are enormous. The winner will leap into the driver’s seat of the NFC South heading into the final four games of the regular season. With a victory, the Saints would hold the first tiebreaker over the Panthers. Meaning, should the Saints drop one of their final four games, they would still win the division title even if they are tied with Carolina in the standings after Week 17. If Carolina wins this game, the Panthers need only to sweep their remaining games to win the NFC South without needing help from anyone else.
Those who tune in to watch should expect a much closer contest compared to the one played in September, but ultimately the same result.
Prediction: Saints 27, Panthers 20