Vikings will play Panthers-Saints victor in divisional round

Linebacker Shaq Thompson and the rest of the Panthers defense are looking for some redemption against the Saints in their third meeting this season

Panthers vs. Saints 2018 odds: NFC South playoff clash has New Orleans as the favorite

Cam Newton drove the Panthers down the field but was sacked on fourth down before he could throw the ball in the end zone. The Panthers had no answer for Kamara. Newton needs help from McCaffrey on Sunday afternoon.

Eighteen seconds later, Brees responded with an explosive shot, an 80-yard strike to former Carolina receiver Ginn, who caught the ball behind cornerback James Bradberry and raced in for a 7-0 New Orleans lead.

Should much change between these two teams?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had one comeback on Sunday, and nearly led a huge one. Carolina is best when they can keep the offense on the field with Newton opening things up with his legs. The Saints have rushed for nearly 300 yards in the previous two meetings combined and proved to be a major reason why they won. Olsen got the payoff with a 14-yard slant, easily beating safety Rafael Bush to the inside, and Carolina had cut the deficit to 24-19 with 12:47 left.

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Brees can't be careless with the football on Sunday.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph, who'd been playing through a right ankle sprain, said he'd told coach Mike Zimmer he'd do whatever he needed to do to get through the Vikings' final three regular season games, knowing a bye would await the Vikings if they won those games.

Cam Newton did not play well in two losses to the Saints this season.

The referees ordered Newton into the sideline tent to be evaluated for a concussion, but a few minutes later, he bounced out with ice on his forehead and looked ready to return. Once Newton gets hot in the running game, the passing game can be hard to defend because of his ability to dominate on the ground or through the air.

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While Saints All-Pro defensive end Cam Jordan has done well containing the 6-foot-5, 245-pound, fleet-footed Newton in previous meetings, he said he doesn't exactly enjoy the prospect of having to do so again.

The Panthers come into this weekend's game winners of three of their last four games. "You look at what they've been doing over the last four or five weeks". However, they still have Newton. For Carolina to win, it will need a huge performance from Newton. "They took him in there as a precautionary just to make sure, but when he was sitting on the ground, they were trying to wipe whatever when he got popped".

Unfortunately for Carolina, it won't be enough. While Carolina will do a solid job defending Kamara, it will be Mark Ingram who burns the Panthers this time.

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