Saints march into divisional round with win over Panthers

Cam Newton runs for a first down vs the Buffalo Bills

Blame the incredible 2017 draft class or the unprecedented defensive turnaround.

Brees finished with 230 passing yards in the first half. "It was a heck of a play by him". I feel like plenty of times this year it was up to me. Eleven time Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees has had a stellar season, throwing for over 4300 yards with 23 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions, and his 72 percent completion percentage was the highest in National Football League history.

Sean Payton tried to avoid those heart-stopping final two minutes of the New Orleans Saints' 31-26 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

"No, he actually got poked in the eye", Rivera said when asked after the game if Newton went through concussion protocol. Winning is all that matters.

The rules changed, but the Carolina Panthers may not have. "We wouldn't rather have anybody commanding our offense", Ingram said.

BC-FBN-Panthers-Saints, 4th Ld-Writethru, 1020 Brees, defensive stand, help Saints survive Panthers, 31-26AP Photo LAGH115, LAGH158, LAGH165, LAGH167, LAGH159, SPANLAGH134, LAGH160, LAGH156, LAGH151, LAGH150, LAGH147, LAGH143, LAGH130, LAGH141, LAGH146Eds: Saints 31, Panthers 26.

Instead, they chose to force... His production on the ground balances the inefficiencies in the aerial attack.

More news: 2005's Star Wars Battlefront II is still being updated

But, in the playoffs, it was time for quarterback Drew Brees to deliver. The second touchdown Brees tossed came off a run fake that left tight end Josh Hill wide open in the end zone.

When Carolina stacked their defense to shut down the run, Brees picked up the challenge. And it was back to being the Brees show at the outset of Sunday's game. But that's just what happened when Ted Ginn, Jr. went on a post route. Kicker Graham Gano missed the first one — a 25-yarder — and Newton went 2-for-6 with a sack in that stretch.

After an incompletion, Newton was flagged for intentional grounding on second down, which not only cost the Panthers a down and 13 lost yards, but since the violation occurred in the game's final moments, Carolina lost 10 seconds from the game clock. Since that point, 13 times the team that was 2-0 completed the sweep, with the most recent coming in 2009 when the Cowboys swept the Eagles. However, the Panthers suffered two losses against the Saints this season, so New Orleans decisively took the tie breaker. Running back Adrian Peterson was traded after four games. "I thought there was a receiver (Devin Funchess) in the vicinity".

Line also caught one pass for seven yards in the victory.

Considering the odds Carolina is facing, taking the Panthers on the money line could prove to be quite profitable.

The Saints (12-5) will be out to avenge a 29-19 season-opening loss to the Vikings (13-3), a game played almost four months ago on a national stage at the same stadium and the site of Super Bowl LII on February 4.

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