One of the biggest playoff games this weekend is the NFC South matchup between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. The Wildcard game will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, and is expected to start at 4:40 PM. ET.
Carolina Panthers Analysis
The Panthers have to face the Saints for the third time this season after losing their season finale to the Atlanta Falcons last week. However, the team won’t be going into this game with confidence after losing both regular season games to the Saints.
Another thing the Panthers have to worry about is the fact that Cam Newton stunk up the joint in the two losses to the Saints, completing a combined 34 of 53 passes for 350 yards two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for a combined 67 yards in both games.
To make things worse, Newton didn’t look good against the Falcons on Sunday, finishing the game with 14 of 34 attempts for 180 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
If Newton can’t get it together before their game on Sunday, the Saints will get the win.
New Orleans Saints Analysis
The Saints won the NFC South crown, but they too have a lot of question marks going into this game. Despite their dominance of the Panthers this season, the Saints have struggled to establish the run in their last two games, which came back to bite them against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
Without their running game, the team was unable to run the clock out, allowing the Buccaneers to stick around and complete the comeback.
Their defense also didn’t play well, giving up 18 points in the fourth quarter of the Bucs game. If the Saints can’t run the ball and their defense plays like it did in the second half of Sunday’s game, the Panthers will get their first win over the Saints this season.
Pick and Prediction
The Saints are favored to win this game by 6.5 points. The over/under on total points scored is 48.5.
The Saints have dominated the Panthers this season, but their lack of a running game is a big concern. Take the Panthers +6.5 and the under.