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Saints-Panthers Preview

Saints travel to Charlotte for NFC South showdown

THIS WEEK: The New Orleans Saints will play on the road for their final contest prior to a week 10 bye when they face the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte for a key NFC South divisional contest. Kickoff is 12 p.m. CT

TELEVISION: The game will be televised on FOXwith Dick Stocktonproviding play-by-play and Charles Davisand Jim L. Morahandling color analysis.* The game will air in the New Orleans area onFOX 8 and in Baton Rouge onWGMB Channel 44. The game also airs onKADNin Lafayette,WDBDin Jackson, MS andWXXV *in the Mississippi Coast.

RADIO: Jim Henderson and Hokie Gajan will call the game on the Saints Radio Network with Kristian Garicon the Saints sidelines. The game will air live on Saints Radio Network originating on WWL 105.3 FM and 870 AM, with pre and post-game analysis. The radio pregame and postgame shows will feature former Saints Steve Korte and Bobby Hebertas well as host Deke Bellavia.

SPANISH RADIO:Saints 2010 games air in Spanish on*radio stationLa Fabulosa, WFNO 830 AM.  Emilio Peralta andMarco Garcia *handle announcing duties.

SERIES:Carolina entered the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1995 and since then, the Panthers hold a 17-14 advantage. The clubs were in the NFC West from 1995-2001 and the rivalry has continued in the NFC South. The Saints have a 7-7 record in contests played at Bank of America Stadium. Of the 31 games, 14 have been decided by eight points or less, with New Orleans winning eight. Of the last nine, four have been settled by a three points or less. The Saints' longest winning streak was a five-game stretch from 2000-02.

LAST MEETING: Saints 16, Carolina Panthers 14; October 3, 2010 @ Louisiana Superdome – The Saints posted an impressive victory against the Panthers behind a powerful run game, timely third down conversions, a relentless pass rush and some key plays on special teams in a contest which wasn't decided until the final seconds.

On their first drive, the Saints drove to the one yard line, where WR Lance Moore fumbled on a hard hit and the ball was recovered by Carolina LB James Anderson in the end zone for a touchback. However the Saints would get the ball back after forcing Carolina to their first of two three and outs in the first half on a day where they constantly harassed rookie QB Jimmy Clausen, allowing him to complete only 11 of 21 passes for 146 yards.

On their next drive, QB Drew Brees directed a scoring march that lasted six plays and 76 yards, ending with WR Lance Moore rambling into the end zone on a four yards TD reception. However, the Panthers would tie the score on a 55-yard pass play from Clausen to Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart on their next possession. New Orleans took the lead near the end of the half, when K John Carney, in his third engagement in New Orleans, kicked  a 32-yard field goal.

The Panthers took the lead back on their first drive of the second half, when RB DeAngelo Williams had a 39-yard run. After failing to convert a third down on their next drive, New Orleans was forced to punt, but a hard hit on coverage by LS Jason Kyle forced Panthers CB Captain Munnerlyn to cough up the punt return and it was recovered by WR Courtney Roby at the Carolina 29-yard line. Carney kicked a 32-yard field goal to put the Saints within one.

Brees engineered an 18 play, 86-yard drive that took up 9:25 of the fourth quarter and ended with Carney kicking a 25-yard field goal to give New Orleans the lead with 3:55 remaining. Carolina on their final drive, would march as close as the New Orleans 36-yard line, but their hopes were extinguished when the Saints pushed them out of field goal range on successive plays with S Usama Young tackling Williams for a four-yard loss and S Malcolm Jenkins sacking Clausen before a final incompletion.

Brees completed 33 of 48 passes for 275 yards with one TD and without an interception as the Saints ran up 121 yards on the ground and outrushed Carolina's powerful attack without Reggie Bush or Pierre Thomas in the lineup due to injuries. In his most extensive action to date, rookie RB Chris Ivory led the club in rushing with 67 yards on 12 carries, teaming with veteran Ladell Betts who had 47 yards on the ground and caught four passes for 23 yards. WR Devery Henderson had six receptions for a team-leading 59 yards.

CONNECTIONS:Head coach Sean Payton and Carolina coach John Fox served on the same staff with the New York Giants. Payton served as offensive coordinator and Fox served as defensive coordinator from 2000-01. Carolina asst. head coach/running backs Jim Skipper, a Breaux Bridge native,  coached the Saints running backs from 1986-95, also serving on the Giants staff with Fox and Payton...QB Drew Brees  and Carolina special teams asst. Jeff Rodgers were high school teammates at Westlake HS in Austin, Tx...Panthers offensive coord. Jeff Davidson played for the Saints in 1994 and served as an offensive asst. in 1996...Special teams coord. Greg McMahon served on the East Carolina staff in 2005…C Jonathan Goodwin prepped at Lower Richland (S.C.) HS…Carolina defensive quality control coach Sam Mills III is the son of former Saints standout LB Sam Mills... DE Will Smith and Carolina CB Chris Gamble were teammates at Ohio State..LS Jason Kyle snapped for the Panthers from 2001-08...S Pierson Prioleau prepped at Macedonia (Alvin, S.C.) HS...Defensive line coach Bill Johnson and Carolina def. coord. Ron Meeks served on the same staff at the University of Miami (Fl.) in 1987. Johnson and Panthers secondary coach Ron Milus served on the same staff at Texas A&M in 1999...DL Anthony Hargrove was tutored by Panthers def. line coach Brian Baker in St. Louis in 2006...Asst. def. line coach Travis Jones and Panthers linebackers coach Richard Smith served on the same staff in Miami in 2005. Smith and def. coordinator Gregg Williams served on the same staff with the Houston Oilers from 1990-92. Carolina wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert played at LSU from 1988-90 and started his coaching career with the Tigers in 1994. He served as an asst. at Northeast Louisiana from 1995-97 and Louisiana-Lafayette from 1999-2001...LB Jonathan Vilma and Carolina LB Jon Beason were teammates at the University of Miami (Fl.) in 2003...CB Patrick Robinson and Panthers DE Everette Brown were teammates at Florida State...Carolina WR Brandon LaFell played at LSU.

NEXT WEEK:The Saints will have their bye in week 10. Following the bye, they will return home and host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, November 21 at the Louisiana Superdome. Kickoff is 3:05 CT and the contest will be televised by FOX.

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