The Saints (7-9) were able to extend their winning streak to three after knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles on the road, 20-10. Even with the win on week 17, New Orleans’ playoff hopes were dashed after the Buccaneers upended the Panthers (6-10), 30-24. The black and gold can still finish their season strong with their fourth win in a row to close out the 2022-23 NFL season when they return home in week 18.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints Game Information:
Current Records: Carolina Panthers (6-10) @ New Orleans Saints (7-9)
Date/Time: January 8th @ 12:00 p.m. CT
Where: Caesar’s Superdome; New Orleans, LA
Where to Watch: FOX (Commentators: Play-By-Play Jason Benetti, Analyst Matt Millen, Megan Olivi)
Spread: Saints (-3.5)
Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints Series History:
The New Orleans Saints lead the all-time series against the Carolina Panthers in the regular season, 28-27. The last time the two teams met was earlier in the season where the Panthers came out with a victory over the Saints, 22-14 on September 25th.
Previewing the Saints Heading into Week 18:
New Orleans was able to get out to an early lead in Philadelphia as the Saints were able to go on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that shaved off 8:58 off the clock on their first offense possession. Taysom Hill got the scoring started with a one-yard touchdown run that put the Saints up early. New Orleans was able to hold the lead throughout the way and were able to seal the victory off a Marshon Lattimore pick-six in the fourth quarter.
The Saints defense was able to confuse Gardner Minshew and the Eagles offense throughout the game as they had trouble moving the ball. The Eagles were only able to rack up 67 rushing yards on the day and the lone touchdown that was given up was a 78-yard pass to A.J. Brown at the end of the third quarter.
New Orleans was able to bring pressure to Minshew as the Saints had seven sacks on the day. Cam Jordan led the way with three sacks as he became New Orleans’ all-time sack leader with 115.5 career sacks. The defense will look to continue their dominance as they take on the Panthers in week 18.
Week 17’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles marked the return of Lattimore off of the injury report and he made a splash in his return. The injury report heading into week 18 continues to be filled as Paulson Adebo, James Hurst, Juwan Johnson, Marcus Maye, Andrus Peat, Dwayne Washington and Ryan Ramczyk were all listed on the DNP list heading into Wednesday’s practice.
It is expected that the Saints will rest Adebo heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Panthers and that will give Alontae Taylor to get more reps at the cornerback position.
Scouting the Saints Opponent: Panthers:
Carolina fell to 6-10 on the year with a week 17 loss against their division foes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-24. Like the Saints, with the loss to Tampa Bay on the road, the Panthers division titles hopes were dashed. In that loss, Carolina’s defense was able to limit the big plays Tom Brady hit Mike Evans on a 63-yard, a 57-yard and a 30-yard touchdown.
The Panthers got out to a 14-0 lead after Sam Darnold found D.J. Moore for a 24-yard touchdown pass, but the Buccaneers were able to claw back into the game with back-to-back touchdowns to Evans that would give them their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter. Both offenses were unable to find any rhythm in the running game, but they were able to still notch over 400 yards of offense on the day.
Carolina will look to now turn their attention to capping off their season by facing off against the Saints. The Panthers were able to take advantage of some costly turnovers in their last meeting with New Orleans as they came out with a 22-14 victory. It will be a different quarterback for both teams as Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield were the starting quarterbacks in week three’s matchup. Now it will be Andy Dalton for the Saints and Darnold for the Panthers.
In the last matchup, Carolina was able to shut down the Saints offense through three quarters of the game as Carolina took a 13-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. New Orleans was able to finally find the endzone with a five-yard touchdown run by Mark Ingram, but Carolina was able to strike back with a 67-yard pass to Laviska Shenault Jr.
Prediction for Panthers @ Saints:
New Orleans will be in need of another fast start out of the gates if they want to avoid getting swept by the Panthers. With both teams out of the playoff discussion, it will be interesting to see how invested these teams will be of getting the win on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers defense was able to shutdown the Saints offense in the previous matchup this season and that can’t happen again if New Orleans wants to end their season on a high note.
Dalton will have to take advantage of a secondary that looks to be reeling at the end of the season and especially after allowing Brady to have his best game of the year. It will be key for the Saints offense to do the same and take some deep shots to test the young, but talented secondary of the Panthers.
This game always comes down to the wire between these two teams, but expect the Saints to come out with their fourth-win in a row to close out the 2022-23 season on a high note.
Prediction: Carolina Panthers 17, New Orleans Saints 24