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Wild Card Playoff Postame Notes: New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

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New Orleans Saints vs Carolina PanthersNFC Wild Card Playoff Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 ● Mercedes-Benz SuperdomeSaints Postgame Notes**

• With the win, the Saints advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. The Saints will travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 3:40 p.m. CT at U.S. Bank Stadium. The contest will be nationally televised on FOX (WVUE-FOX 8 locally).

• New Orleans improves to 8-9 all-time in the postseason, 7-4 under Head Coach Sean Payton.

• The Saints have a 6-3 mark all-time in home playoff games, including winning six consecutive and all five with Payton as head coach.

• Only two other times in the club’s history (1991 campaign against Atlanta and 2000 against the St. Louis Rams) did the Saints play three games against the same opponent in the season, with this being the first time they won all three.

• Carolina outgained New Orleans in total net yardage 413-410.

• New Orleans outgained Carolina in net passing yardage 369-306.

• New Orleans had four sacks in the contest, the most by the club in the postseason since Payton took over in 2006. On the other end the Saints offensive line only allowed one sack on the day.

• QB Drew Brees *started his 12th career postseason game today and his 11th as a Saint. He completed 23-of-33 passes (69.6%) for 376 yards, two touchdown passes, an interception and a 115.2 passer rating. Brees finished the first half with a 151.4 passer rating, marking the highest by any player in the first half of playoff game (min.10 attempts) since Kurt Warner in the 2008 NFC Championship (156.0 passer rating against the Eagles). His passing yardage total ranks fourth among his yardage totals in the postseason. Brees’ 3,915 career passing yards in the postseason now ranks tenth all-time, as he surpassed *Donovan McNabb, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly today. Brees also has 329 career completion in the postseason, moving up to tenth in that category as well, surpassing Kurt Warner, Aikman and Kelly.

• Rookie RB *Alvin Kamara *received the start and had ten carries for 23 yards and a two-yard touchdown and a ten-yard reception.

• FB Zach Line recorded a one-yard touchdown run, the first postseason touchdown of his career.

• In his playoff debut, WR Michael Thomas started and led the Saints in receiving with eight catches for a game-high 131 yards.

• WR Ted Ginn Jr.  started and finished the game with four catches for 115 yards. Ginn hauled in the first touchdown of the game and the longest play from scrimmage this season for the Saints with an 80-yard pass from Brees, the longest postseason catch of his career and his first receiving touchdown in the playoffs. It also marked the second longest play from scrimmage in Saints playoff history behind an 88-yard touchdown connection between Brees and RB Reggie Bush in the NFC Championship vs. Chicago (1/21/07).  

• TE Josh Hill started and recorded his first career postseason touchdown, hauling in a nine-yard pass from Brees. Hill finished the game with three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown and a 25-yard grab, all playoff career-bests.

• DE Cameron Jordan started and finished the game with three tackles (two solo), a postseason career-high two passes defensed and one sack, was well as a crucial pressure on Carolina QB Cam Newton with: 41 seconds left in the contest to force and intentional grounding penalty. With 3.5 career sacks in the postseason, Jordan is now the club’s leader in the category, surpassing Rickey Jackson *and *Frank Warren.

• DE Tyeler Davison, in his postseason debut had six tackles (one solo) and a sack of Newton for a ten-yard loss.

• LB *Jonathan Freeny *in his most extensive defensive action as a Saint, finished the game with three tackles (one solo) and a sack, creating a seven-yard loss.

• In his NFL postseason debut, S Vonn Bell recorded the Saints’ fourth sack of the game on a fourth and 23 play with, creating a 17-yard loss and sealing the victory. Bell also led the team in tackles with nine (seven solo).

• Rookie S Marcus Williams, among two rookie starters in the secondary, recorded eight tackles (six solo) and a pass defensed.

• In his NFL postseason debut, CB *Marshon Lattimore *had two solo tackles and two passes defensed.

• K *Wil Lutz *nailed a postseason club-record 57-yard field goal, which ties Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent (1/4/15 vs. Indianapolis) for the second-longest postseason field goal in NFL history. Lutz also booted a 57-yard field goal in the regular season (9/26/16 vs. Atlanta).

• P *Thomas Morstead *punted four times for 183 yards (45.8 avg.) with one punt landing inside-the-20-yard line. 

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