NFC Wild Card Preview: Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Saints defeat Panthers to advance to NFC divisonal round

Saints defeat Panthers to advance to NFC divisonal round

Lost in how poorly the Panthers offense played at Atlanta was the absence of Jonathan Stewart, who sat out with back tightness. In their last eight games against divisional opponents the Saints are 6-2 ATS.

Because that's what the Saints do.

The New Orleans Saints dominated their first two matchups against the Carolina Panthers this season, but Saints players said all week that the results of those games have little bearing on the matchup Sunday. Expect the Panthers to do a better job tackling than they did in Week 13 (it would be hard to be worse). If linebackers Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson can hold New Orleans to short runs and keep passes out of the backfield to a minimum, they will provide their team an opportunity to win.

A third-round pick out of Tennessee, the 22-year-old's role has grown with every game and he's been a ideal compliment to Mark Ingram. Kamara is fast enough to get on the edge quickly and turn the corner, but also powerful enough to bull through tacklers. The over/under for the game is 48 total points.

Newton was off target with almost all of his receivers against Atlanta, but that was especially so with Olsen.

Sunday's game will be the third time the two teams have met in the 2017 season.

Stand out rookie running back Alvin Kamara had just two carries in the first meeting with Carolina this season.

The 32-year-old followed that monster performance with three catches for 27 yards in Week 16 and one catch for 10 yards in Week 10. Kamara added to his impressive resume this week when ESPN Stats & Information revealed that his 7.7 yards per touch is the highest single-season average in National Football League history among players with at least 200 offensive touches. But ultimately it won't be enough.

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