New Orleans Saints
Every game this weekend has fascinating plots, from Cincinnati trying to break their playoff futility to the Frozen Tundra earning its sobriquet with a 30-below wind chill expected Sunday.
When speaking of dominant performances by a Carolina Panthers middle linebacker, Dan Morgan’s 25 tackle effort in Super Bowl 38 has long stood as the benchmark. Two weeks ago, Luke Kuechly may have set the new standard.
Seattle has already faced, and beaten, both the Saints and 49ers this season but not the Packers. Does the unknown help or hurt a team in the Playoffs?
Last year, the 49ers made an improbable run to the Super Bowl, before falling one play short of reaching the ultimate team goal. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens, a more experienced team that rode momentum all the way to a Championship. This year it’s San Francisco who fits this description and unlike last year, the Niners have everything in place to get past the rest of the NFC.
The Cincinnati Bengals had a great season and are looking forward to welcoming the San Diego Chargers into Paul Brown Stadium for the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Even with that game on the immediate horizon, the 2014 opponents for the Bengals have now been set.
Cam Newton was having a miserable afternoon. The Panthers’ quarterback had been ineffective all day, limited to 116 yards passing by the New Orleans Saints in the game’s first 59 minutes. The old Newton might have run and hid under a towel and sulked on the sideline.
The Carolina Panthers needed a victory over the New Orleans Saints to clinch a playoff berth and keep their hopes of an NFC South title alive. On a day when a monsoon descended upon Bank of America Stadium, the Panthers didn’t win in pretty fashion, but they got back at the Saints and into the playoffs.
The Carolina Panthers’ playoff drought is over. Cam Newton threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Domenik Hixon with 23 seconds left to lift the Panthers to a 17-13 win over the New Orleans Saints and clinch the team’s first playoff berth since 2008.
Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith will not return after injuring his knee in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Greg Cosell breaks down the Panthers ‘old school’ offense and the differences between the first Saints-Panthers matchup and this week’s rematch.