Panthers fans rally ahead of playoff game as team sale looms

Cam Newton

Cam Newton

Even though it's an exciting time for fans, it's also a very turbulent one because no one knows who will buy the Panthers once the season is over.

Still, Saints defenders expect Olsen to be a factor in a win-or-go-home playoff game.

DIVISIONAL grudge matches bring something extra to a play-off game and that's exactly what there is at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Sunday night. Fortunately, the defense holds on against quarterback Drew Brees as he attempts to mount a comeback but falls short. The Saints have benefitted from rookie running back Alvin Kamara, 22, and veteran Mark Ingram, 28, as the New Orleans running game is averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

The kick, which trimmed the Saints' lead to 7-3 early in the second quarter, came after Carolina quarterback Cam Newton overthrew Greg Olsen near the right sideline on third down.

The 6-foot-7, 316-pound Peat was the Saints' first-round draft pick in 2015 out of Stanford, where he played left tackle. The over/under for the game is 48 total points.

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The Panthers also sit at 11-5 but a pair of losses to the Saints has Carolina playing this game on the road.

Meanwhile, Saints coach Sean Payton will be trying to change or disguise most everything his offense has done against the Panthers, which may be hard as those old plays accounted for 400 yards in the 31-21 win and 362 yards in the 34-13 victory.

There's a simple explanation as to why the New Orleans Saints twice humbled the Carolina Panthers during the regular season.

In September, New Orleans tortured the Panthers offense, holding Newton to 167 passing yards and forcing three interceptions in a blowout.

"We didn't get up for that game and that's on us". The first matchup between the division rivals occurred all the way back in Week 3 when the Saints destroyed Carolina 34-13 for their first win of the season.

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Payton, who is 6-4 in the playoffs as Saints coach, is trying to maintain a fresh approach as well.

In Carolina, Christian McCaffrey has also grown with every game after a slow start to the season. "But the beauty of this is we get another shot, and this time it really means something". "That's something we that we have not done a good job of this year".

That's right - it's possible for the Vikings to defeat the Saints and Falcons en route to Super Bowl LII, payback from two of the more crushing losses in franchise history - 2010 to the Saints and the NFC Championship game loss to Atlanta in 1999.

Saints: DE Trey Henderson (ankle), OL Terron Armstead (thigh) are QUESTIONABLE.

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The Titans needed a win in their regular-season finale and some help to earn a wild-card spot as the AFC's fifth seed. Mariota finished with more than 200 passing yards and had two touchdowns in Tennessee's 22-21 win over Kansas City .

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