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Panthers look to continue wild card weekend success

08 January 2018

The second round of the NFL Wild Card playoffs starts at 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills, followed by the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints at 4:40 p.m. on FOX.

New Orleans has already rendered Carolina's offense one-dimensional once this season, holding Newton to 167 passing yards in a Week 3 game the Panthers lost at home 34-13. He could have easily been the goat had the Panthers taken advantage of his questionable decision, but in the end his defense prevailed, and the Saints are going on. So he made a decision to whip out the broom in the locker room as his team celebrate the season sweep of their division rivals. "I feel like I help the team when I'm running the football".

To get that done, they'll need the offensive line to do their jobs and win their individual matchups. "When you're in the grind of the game week, it's hard to find time to do those things".

The Panthers are a very good team, having also compiled an 11-5 record, but they are the underdogs in Sunday's clash for a reason.

At 32 years old, Ginn has caught a league-high 76 percent of his targets - more of the universe's twisted humor, as Ginn is remembered more by Panthers fans (at least those on social media) for the balls he dropped in a blue-and-white jersey than those he caught. "We have to figure out what went well and improve on that and what went wrong and correct that".

When New Orleans topped Carolina by 10 in the dome in Week 13, it ended a Panthers four-game winning streak and was one of only two losses in Carolina's past nine games. The Saints relentlessly pressured Newton, sacking him four times.

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As the 11-5 Carolina Panthers embark on their playoff campaign this coming Sunday, much about the team will look familiar from previous postseason runs.

"Being with my family, and with friends, and with guys that played for my grandfather, and just listening to their stories again, just reemphasizing to me what a great man he was, and what a wise man he was, and just a true American hero", Brees said. The Saints have benefitted from rookie running back Alvin Kamara, 22, and veteran Mark Ingram, 28, as the New Orleans running game is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Not that Stewart would have saved the Panthers, but he would have allowed Mike Shula try to get the run game going, control time of possession and keep the defense fresh.

But before looking too far ahead, first they have to get past each other.

Carolina's issue is that New Orleans has a ton of weapons all over the field.

"You're talking about one of the better tight ends in the game".

Panthers look to continue wild card weekend success