Minnesota has had a ton of success at home, but this Saints group is experienced in these kinds of situations, and to be honest, I'd rather have Drew Brees than Case Keenum in a playoff scenario, so I'll take the free points with the Saints here.
"It's night and day", Brees said.
Apart from Sunday's win, the Saints also had two victories over Carolina back in the regular season. Now they're on to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs after holding off Carolina (11-6), 31-26 on Sunday. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram have been forced to watch out for this season accounting for 3,094 total yards and 25 offensive TDs! oh yeah and Kamara returned a Kickoff for a TD in Week 17 just for fun!
"We trust our system".
"We did everything the right way", Hurney said. These are two of the best teams in the National Football League and we get to watch them in the first round of the playoffs. Thomas had eight catches for 131 yards, while Ginn caught four passes for 115 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown against Carolina. The 46-yard throw to Michael Thomas to set up the Saints final touchdown was incredible.
Instead, a generation later, the Panthers have delivered an era of odd feelings, capped by another season of odd happenings. The Saints are also the first team to beat an opponent three times in the same season since the 2009 Dallas Cowboys did it against Philadelphia. He was surprised to see Newton return to the game, he said. He got a little bit too much a couple of times and was able to advance the ball downfield.
NFL, NFLPA to review how Panthers handled hit on Cam Newton
But first, for at least a few moments, Brees was going to savor what happened Sunday in the Superdome. Add in a sloppy Saints possession on offense, and Newton and the Panthers had the ball back looking to take the lead and pull off the upset with over two and a half minutes remaining.
It didn't work. Brees threw an interception, and the Panthers drove toward a possible game-winning touchdown. Jordan, Bell, linebacker Jonathan Freeny and defensive tackle David Onyemata each had one. He played a key role in his team's victory, sacking Newton and forcing the game-deciding intentional grounding call. Jordan said. "Look, he like spun. So whether that was for the kicking game, or whether it was on defense or offense, our vision was clear on how we wanted to use them and how they could contribute". We've clearly turned to the next chapter. "We just have to hunker down and get it done". While it's not fair to the Saints to say the officials cost the Panthers a win, it would be inaccurate to say the officials' incompetence played no role in the outcome whatsoever. You still have to have a level of patience to take advantage of them when they do come around.
"There shouldn't be any extra motivation for them", he said. "We held them in the red zone and we won the game".
The Carolina Panthers couldn't afford to lose their star quarterback, especially in a playoff game - win you move on, lose and your season's over.