The Saints have beaten the Panthers five of the last six games the two have played each other, and they’re hoping to add to that streak when they square off in Sunday’s Week 17 showdown. In fact, the only time the Panthers beat the Saints during that stretch was during the final game of the season last year, when New Orleans rested virtually all its starts, and played Teddy Bridgewater under center.
New Orleans is peaking at the right time, and the team continues to show why it’s a legitimate Super Bowl contender, similar to the Chiefs. And, just like Kansas City, had their quarterback — in this case, Drew Brees — not suffered an injury, New Orleans would likely be in position to lock up home-field advantage with a win. Instead, they’ll need some help from the Lions in order to do that, although it seems highly unlikely that they’ll beat the Packers, even in a letdown spot, having defeated the Vikings on Monday night to secure the NFC North title.
As for the Panthers, well, they’ve been one of the most disappointing teams this season. This team had hopes of competing for the division title this year, and instead, they’re without a head coach, and sport a 5-10 record. Not only that, they fired longtime head coach Ron Rivera, and it’s unclear what the team will do to replace him going forward, as well as what Cam Newton’s future look like. Question marks surround this team in the offseason, so we can expect major changes. That’s likely why the Saints are laying a ridiculous 13 points on the road in this matchup, according to NFL Betting Odds. It’s safe to say the Saints will head into Carolina and get the job done, especially given the uncertainty at the quarterback position, with Will Grier likely to start in just his second career game.
Look for Drew Brees and Michael Thomas to continue to make sweet music playing pitch-and-catch, with Alvin Kamara gashing the Panthers on the ground. Carolina has fielded one of the worst run defenses in the NFL this year, and while running back Christian McCaffrey has been exceptional, he can’t play on both sides of the ball, and he’s only one player. The Saints are a juggernaut, and expect them to get out to an early lead, and never look back, with the Panthers looking toward the offseason, more than the present.