The New Orleans Saints will host the Carolina Panthers in an NFC South contest at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome that will hold important divisional implications for both clubs. The matchup is the second of two games between the Saints and Panthers, with New Orleans taking the first matchup 28-10 in Charlotte on October 30. Much more than bragging rights are on the line for both clubs in this contest. The 5-7 Saints are tied for first place in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons following Sunday's 35 -32 win at the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the 3-8-1 Panthers, who dropped a 31-13 loss at the Minnesota Vikings, still alive in the division race as well.
Among New Orleans and their division rivals, the series between the Saints and Panthers has been the closest with Carolina holding a 20-19 edge. Since 2006, the Panthers hold an 9-8 lead, but eight of the contests have been decided by eight points or less. In addition to keeping their prime position in the NFC South division race, New Orleans will be looking to tie the all-time series and for their first season series sweep of the Panthers since 2011.
Following a disappointing Monday night 34-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on November 24, the Saints had to use a tight turnaround to make corrections on, and move on from the disappointing loss to the Ravens where they surrendered 215 yards rushing and allowed Baltimore to convert nine-of-13 third down attempts.
The Saints came back strong on a tight timeline in Pittsburgh in a contest which was nowhere as close as the final score. DE Cameron Jordan and S Kenny Vaccaro each intercepted Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, with the turnovers resulting in touchdowns. Jordan also added a quarterback takedown. After Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell rushed for 82 yards in the first half, he was held to only 13 yards rushing on six attempts in the second half.
QB Drew Brees took advantage of the two takeaways, converting both into a pair of his five touchdown passes, as he completed 19 of 27 throws for 257 yards with a 140.0 passer rating. WR Kenny Stills had five receptions for a career-high 162 yards with a 69-yard touchdown.
The New Orleans offense is ranked second in the NFL in net yards per game and seventh in scoring. Defensively, the Saints have are currently ranked 31st in opponent net yards per game and 24th in opponent scoring. The Panthers are ranked 21st in total offense and 27th in scoring. Defensively, they are ranked 17th in yardage and 29th in scoring.
In The NFC South This Week: Falcons will play at the Green Bay Packers (9-3) on Monday night and the Buccaneers (2-10) will play at Detroit (8-4) on Sunday.