January 21, 2018

Main » Vikings will play Panthers-Saints victor in divisional round

Vikings will play Panthers-Saints victor in divisional round

08 January 2018

Coleman was the target on the Saints' first pass of the game, and he made an 18-yard grab in the two-minute drill just before the half.

Sunday, the New Orleans Saints have some fireworks planned of their own. Brees needs another strong performance from his running backs in order for the Saints to beat the Panthers for the third time this season. Let's take a look.

One of the most incredible moments in National Football League history occurred during the Saints' first game in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

For all of his considerable success, it's an enigma of Rivera's teams that they always seem unfinished in the same predictable ways. The former Ohio State Buckeye will get to match talents with former MI wide receiver Devin Funchess, who leads the Panthers with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Vikings came through the end of the regular season in relatively good health, and have a good chance to get center Pat Elflein back from the shoulder injury that kept him out in Week 17.

In the Panthers' previous seven trips to the postseason, the team has never entered the wild card round - or divisional round - having lost its regular season finale. As of late, the worry isn't with Carolina's defense forcing turnovers but instead with the offense turning them into points. In two games against the Saints, McCaffrey has rushed for just 32 yards, although he did break out with 101 yards receiving in the second matchup. As the Panthers prepare to visit their division rivals in New Orleans this weekend, Newton's ability to succeed in the passing game will be the contest's crucial factor.

The Pro Bowl running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara helped the Saints rush for 149 and 148 yards in two games against Carolina, the two highest rushing totals allowed by Carolina this season. They are ways to imagine the Panthers winning. Coupled with extensive pressure on Brees from the Panthers front four, it's possible they could alter the dynamic and keep the game low scoring into the fourth quarter. If Newton can hit a couple of big plays early, he could be in store for a big day.

"A team beats you twice and you get to play them a third time?" wide receiver Russell Shepard said.

I don't see this happening. Kamara is fast enough to get on the edge quickly and turn the corner, but also powerful enough to bull through tacklers. "When you're in the grind of the game week, it's hard to find time to do those things".

New Orleans should throw all kinds of looks at Newton.

Vikings will play Panthers-Saints victor in divisional round