Saints News | New Orleans Saints |

Saints vs Panthers Game Preview | 2021 NFL Week 17

The New Orleans Saints (7-8) will need to manage a quick turnaround to take on the Carolina Panthers (5-10) in their final home regular season contest of the 2021 NFL season.


The New Orleans Saints (7-8) will need to manage a quick turnaround to take on the Carolina Panthers (5-10) in their final home regular season contest of the 2021 season after dropping a 20-3 decision to the Miami Dolphins on Monday night in a valiant effort where 17 players were not available to play due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Saints will host the Panthers looking to avenge a 26-7 loss at Bank of America Stadium on September 19, leading the all-time series 27-26 and looking to avoid their first season sweep by Carolina since 2015. Prior to the September loss, New Orleans had won four consecutive contests over the Panthers.

A victory will be crucial for New Orleans who remains one game behind the 8-7 San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles and at the same spot as the 7-8 Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings in a competitive NFC playoff race for the final two spots if New Orleans wants to reach the postseason for the fifth consecutive season.


The Panthers initially entered the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1995 and since then, with New Orleans leading the regular season series 27-26, with the Saints picking up the 2017 NFC Wild Card showdown at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The clubs were in the NFC West from 1995- 2001 and the rivalry's continued in the NFC South since 2002. The Saints have a 13-12 record in games played in the Caesars Superdome against the Panthers. Of the 52 regular season games in the series, 25 have been decided by eight points or less, with New Orleans winning 13. The Saints' longest winning streak was a five-game stretch from 2000-02.

In the 53 regular season games of the series there has been:

  • 1,182 points scored by New Orleans, 1,154 allowed.
  • A five-game New Orleans winning streak from 2000-02.
  • A four-game New Orleans winning streak in games played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome from 1998-2001 and a four-game winning streak at contests played at Bank of America Stadium from 2017-20.
  • 27 games decided by double-digits.
  • Seven games decided by 21 or more points.
  • 24 games decided by eight points or less.
  • One 32-point win by New Orleans in the 2020 regular season finale.
  • A 32-point loss by New Orleans.


Week 2: Carolina Panthers 26, Saints 7; September 19, 2021 @ Bank of America Stadium – The Carolina Panthers, a week after their season-opening win over the New York Jets, continued to take advantage of home cooking and handed the Saints a 26-7 defeat on a warm afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.

Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold was impressive and efficient throughout the majority of the game, completing 26-of-38 passes for 305 yards with two touchdown passes, one interception and a 99.1 rating. But Darnold wasn't the lone story of the day, as a healthy Christian McCaffrey gained 137 total yards from scrimmage and one rushing touchdown.

The New Orleans Saints take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season.

The Panthers defense seemingly took away most of the Saints' big play abilities, with New Orleans' longest play a 27-yard connection between quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey. New Orleans struggled running the ball (17 carries for 48 yards) and on early downs, resulting in unfavorable situations on third down (2-for-11) and losing the time of possession battle 38:32-21:28.

Defensively, LB Demario Davis led the club with 12 tackles, while a pair of young defensive linemen in DT Malcolm Roach and DE Payton Turner recorded their first career interception and sack respectively.


Saints' Largest Margin of Victory vs Panthers:

32 points, Saints won 42-10, 12/28/19 at Bank of America Stadium

Panthers' Largest Margin of Victory vs Saints:

32 points, Panthers won 45-13, 1/2/00 at Ericsson Stadium

Current Series Streak:

One-game winning streak for Carolina, 9/19/21-present

Saints' Longest Win Streak vs Panthers:

Five games, 10/15/00- 11/10/02

Panthers' Longest Win Streak vs Saints:

Four games (twice), 12/18/05-10/7/07 (most recent) and 12/29/02-12/5/04

Most Points by Saints in a Game vs Panthers:

45 points, Saints won 45-17, 1/1/12 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Most Points by Panthers in a Game vs Saints:

45 points, Panthers won 45-13, 1/2/00 at Ericsson Stadium

Most Combined Points (Both Teams):

82 points, Panthers won 44-38, 12/30/12 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Fewest Points by Saints in a Game vs Panthers:

Zero points, Panthers won 13-0, 10/19/97 at Superdome

Fewest Points by Panthers in a Game vs Saints:

Three points, Saints won 34-3, 11/7/10 at Bank of America Stadium

Fewest Combined Points (Both Teams):

13 points, Panthers won 13-0, 10/19/97 at Superdome


The Panthers played two quarterbacks Sunday, but had no answers for the one the Buccaneers used.

Even without most of his usual targets, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady was his typically effective self in a 32-6 win, which dropped the Panthers to 5-10 for the season.

Brady threw for 232 yards and a touchdown while completing 18 of his 30 passes.

The Panthers allowed 391 yards of total offense, the third-highest total of the season (trailing just the 571 by the Vikings and the 433 the Cowboys gained).

The Panthers started Cam Newton as promised, and he led them to a field goal drive to start the game. It might have been a touchdown, except running back Ameer Abdullah appeared to trip over left tackle Brady Christensen's foot, falling down instead of staying in a wide-open passing lane, as the third-down pass fell incomplete.

When Sam Darnold entered the game early in the second quarter, he threw a 63-yard bomb to Shi Smith, but that was mostly the extent of the passing fireworks.

Newton finished the game 7-of-13 for 61 yards and an interception with 42 yards rushing, while Darnold was 15-of-32 for 190 yards.


With 22 players out because of Covid-19 and the team starting its fourth quarterback of the season, the New Orleans Saints offense couldn't get on track against a rugged Miami defense and the Dolphins rolled to a 20-3 victory Monday, Dec. 27 at the Caesars Superdome.

The loss ended the Saints' two-game winning streak and dropped their record to 7-8, making them 10th in the NFC standings. The win was the Dolphins' seventh consecutive as they improved to 8-7.

The New Orleans Saints take on the Miami Dolphins at the Caesars Superdome in Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season.

The New Orleans defense was stout for much of the game; the Waddle touchdown was the first it surrendered since the third quarter of the loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 2. Defensive end Marcus Davenport had a sack-forced fumble, linemate Cameron Jordan had two sacks and cornerback Marshon Lattimore had an interception in the third quarter. But with the offensive line decimated by injuries and Covid, Book had very little time to throw and the running backs didn't have much room to operate either. Book was sacked eight times.

"Just keeping him upright was a challenge," Payton said. "It was a tough position for him to be in."


League Rankings

Table inside Article
Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank)21.1 (17t)18.5 (26)
Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank)20.3 (4)23.0 (19)
Total Off. (NFL Rank)301.9 (31)305.7 (28)
Rushing Off. (NFL Rank)114.9 (15)109.6 (19)
Passing Off. (NFL Rank)187.0 (31)196.1 (29)
Total Def. (NFL Rank)331.7 (12)300.8 (2)
Rushing Def. (NFL Rank)95.9 (5)118.5 (21)
Passing Def. (NFL Rank)235.7 (17)182.3 (2)
Kickoff Return Avg. (NFL Rank)22.9 (13)21.1 (20)
Punt Return Avg. (NFL Rank)11.0 (6)8.9 (14)
Turnover Margin (NFL Rank)+2 (10t)-9 (27t)
Penalty Yards738849
Opp. Penalties83101
Opp. Penalty Yards710853


  • New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins and Carolina quarterback Matt Barkley were teammates in Philadelphia in 2014
  • New Orleans guard/tackle James Hurst played at the University of North Carolina
  • Carolina defensive back Myles Hartsfield played at the University of Mississippi
  • New Orleans punter Blake Gillikin, tight end Juwan Johnson and Carolina defensive end Yetur Gross Matos were college teammates at Penn State
  • Saints Assistant Special Teams Coach Phil Galiano and Panthers Tight Ends Coach Brian Angelichio served on the same Rutgers staff in 2011 and the same Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff from 2012-13
  • New Orleans Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi and Carolina Senior Offensive Assistant/Running Backs Jeff Nixon served on the same coaching staff in Miami from 2011-15
  • Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn is the son of former New Orleans wide receiver Joe Horn. Prentice, Horn and Panthers wide receiver Shi Smith were college teammates at South Carolina in 2020
  • New Orleans defensive tackle Shy Tuttle prepped at North Davidson (Welcome, N.C.) HS
  • New Orleans Defensive Line Coach Ryan Nielsen served as defensive line coach/recruiting/run game coordinator at North Carolina State from 2013-16, serving on the same Wolfpack coaching staff with Panthers offensive pass game coordinator/wide receivers Frisman Jackson the first two seasons. Nielsen and Jackson served on the same coaching staff at Northern Illinois in 2012
  • Saints Quarterbacks Coach Ronald Curry was a four-year starter at quarterback at the University of North Carolina and also was the starting point guard on the school's 1998-99 and 2000-01 basketball teams
  • Carolina Offensive Lineman Trent Scott played at Grambling State in 2013, when he blocked for Saints Offensive Assistant D.J. Williams and from 2015-17.
  • Rizzi and Carolina Assistant Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano Jr. served on the same Miami staff in 2011
  • Saints Senior Def. Asst. Peter Giunta, Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule, Quarterbacks Coach Sean Ryan and Defensive Run Game Coordinator Al Holcomb served on the same New York Giants coaching staff
  • Carolina wide receiver Terrece Marshall Jr. prepped at Parkway (Bossier City, La.) HS and played at LSU, helping the Tigers win the 2019 National Championship and recording 106 career receptions for 1,594 and 23 touchdowns
  • Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Panthers guard Michael Jordan were college teammates at Ohio State
  • Saints linebacker Demario Davis and Panthers linebacker Julian Stanford were teammates with the New York Jets in 2015 and 2017 and Davis played with Carolina wide receiver Robby Anderson and safety Juston Burris with the Jets in 2017
  • New Orleans quarterback Ian Book and Panthers tight end Tommy Tremble were college teammates at Notre Dame
  • New Orleans running back Dwayne Washington and Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson were college teammates at the University of Washington
  • Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson prepped at Riverdale High School and played at Louisiana State University as a college teammate of New Orleans center/guard Will Clapp
  • New Orleans Quarterback Jameis Winston, cornerback P.J. Williams and Carolina tackle Cameron Erving were teammates at Florida State.
  • Saints defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon and Erving were teammates in Kansas City from 2017-19
  • New Orleans defensive tackle Albert Huggins prepped at Orangeburg Wilkinson (Orangeburg, S.C.) HS and played at Clemson from 2015-18
  • New Orleans Area Scout C.J. Leak played his first two years of college football at Wake Forest.

Related Content