Sunday’s match up against the NFC South’s top and bottom teams has me both excited and frustrated all at the same time. This week team Panthers host SB XLIV winners Uptown Charlotte. Now! –By all statistical calculations the Saints have the ever so slight advantage. Meaning it is predicted to be another close one for team Panthers, but New Orleans is “suppose” to walk away with the victory. –Sorry Boys, I don’t believe the hype. Call me crazy but my gut (aka the eternal Panther optimist) says Coach Rivera guides Carolina to the ultimate victory (thus far) and sends the Saints marching OUT!
*Doin the Robot as I ready my game day break down* Breezy (BKA Drew Brees) is unquestionably an exemplary QB. The man’s completing just under 70% of his passes – 68.9% to be exact. (YIKES) Couple that with receivers that average more than 15 yards PER catch, most teams would/should be concerned to host the Saints. The icing on the New Orleans offensive cake is their running game, which features Pierre Thomas averaging 5 yards per carry and Mark Ingram PLOWING up and down fields. All things that contribute to a statistical Saints win.
The Saints are Offensively number two in the League with an average of 471.5 yards of total offense. Well…Team Panthers are right on their offensive heels at number THREE in the League with an average of 451.8 yards! (Stick that in your N.O. Voodoo doll)
Cam Newton and company know how to put on a good show and this Sunday Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and the Carolina offense will NOT disappoint NOR will
we they allow the Saints to have all the high-flying passes and highlight glory!
Heading into this portion of the season, the Panthers run game has to has to HAS TO be consistent. Particularly in this game where ball possession and clock management are essential to victory. DeAngelo will have to find a way to get more yards per carry and balance out Jonathan Stewart to maximize the offense’s field position and time of posession. (Can RUN & GUN please stand up!!???!!!) With Shockey questionable for the game Olsen and LaFell are going to have to catch EVERY ball Newton guns at them. (Naanee should not be on the field AT ALL) Smitty is all about making the home crowd happy so he and Cam should have some fun with this one. Newton has all of the Panthers rushing TDs which equal almost half of the team’s total touchdowns for the season. (WOW) He (and his receivers) have to be aware of the safeties and avoid interceptions.
On the flip-side, the Panthers defense needs to limit the Saints rushing game and ability to complete 3rd downs. (Preferably on the Saints side of the field) Carolinas Defense continues to impress me in the Red Zone, but I’m a greedy never satisfied fan that wants MORE! Ideally Team Panthers D would intercept and/or sack 3 and out the every time Drew Brees and the Saints take the field. New Orleans is better and more skilled than that so it won’t be that easy.
Another key to the Panthers winning will be Special Teams, from both sides. Carolina has to take advantage of creating great field position or getting a touchdown as well as stopping New Orleans from making huge plays and scoring with their Special Teams.
Bottom line all the elements are at the Panthers disposal. Utilizing all the piece (simultaneously) and stunning the Saints is the only way to crawl from the bottom to the top of the Division…cause honestly the schedule does NOT get any friendlier. So team Panthers will win and the Saints will experience their 1st L of the season under Carolina Blue Skies.
About the Author
Written by DJella Gray
Football-Aholic, Team Panthers 4ever, Cheerleader 4 Life!