|Last 3 Games||3-0||+3||2-1||0-3||23.7||11.0||340.3||(5.6)||1.0||14.0||8.3||309.3||(5.6)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||23.7||11.3||21.2||33:10||31-129||(4.1)||19-30||61.7%||198||(6.5)||62-327||(5.3)||(13.8)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.9||11.6||20.4||31:56||27-113||(4.1)||22-36||61.1%||234||(6.5)||63-347||(5.5)||(15.1)|
|Offense Road Games||20.8||9.0||20.7||32:60||29-121||(4.1)||20-34||58.5%||195||(5.7)||64-316||(5)||(15.2)|
|Defense (All Games)||13.1||5.6||16.2||26:50||21-80||(3.7)||23-34||66.7%||210||(6.2)||55-290||(5.2)||(22.2)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.6||11.9||19.1||30:48||27-112||(4.1)||21-34||60.5%||220||(6.4)||61-332||(5.4)||(14.7)|
|Defense Road Games||15.7||6.7||17.0||26:60||21-86||(4)||24-38||65.0%||206||(5.5)||59-293||(4.9)||(18.7)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.9||0.4||1.3||0.8||13-6||46.2%||1-1||81.8%||2-35||(20.9)||2-19||(10.1)||5-43|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.6||1.8||2.1||14-5||39.7%||1-0||46.0%||2-51||(22.9)||21-2||(9.8)||6-58|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.0||0.3||1.3||0.5||14-6||43.0%||1-1||83.3%||2-46||(21.3)||2-27||(11.5)||6-48|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.3||0.8||2.2|| ||13-4||32.5%||1-0||22.2%||1-28||(22.8)||2-21||(9.8)||6-50|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||14-5||36.1%||1-0||43.4%||2-49||(23.3)||20-2||(9.4)||6-56|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.3||0.5||1.8|| ||14-4||31.3%||1-0||25.0%||1-27||(20)||3-25||(9.4)||5-40|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||0-3||0-3||15.7||11.7||316.3||(5.3)||1.3||22.3||16.7||326.7||(5.4)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||26.0||15.2||22.0||32:30||24-93||(3.8)||27-40||67.7%||303||(7.6)||64-396||(6.2)||(15.2)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||23.3||12||20.3||31:46||28-118||(4.3)||22-36||60.7%||235||(6.6)||63-353||(5.6)||(15.1)|
|Offense Home Games||33.2||18.5||25.3||35:12||27-110||(4)||29-40||73.5%||341||(8.6)||67-451||(6.7)||(13.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||19.2||12.3||17.7||27:30||24-113||(4.6)||19-32||59.9%||207||(6.4)||57-320||(5.6)||(16.7)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.1||12.1||19.5||30:57||26-109||(4.1)||22-35||62.0%||230||(6.6)||61-339||(5.5)||(14.6)|
|Defense Home Games||15.8||9.5||15.7||24:48||19-91||(4.9)||19-34||56.4%||181||(5.4)||52-272||(5.2)||(17.2)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.5||1.2||0.2||14-6||44.8%||1-0||33.3%||2-37||(23.2)||2-13||(6)||6-47|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.6||1.7||2||14-6||39.5%||1-0||48.3%||2-51||(22.6)||20-2||(9.4)||6-56|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.5||0.7||1.2||0.8||13-7||51.2%||1-0||50.0%||1-32||(32)||3-21||(7.1)||6-47|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.8||0.6||1.4|| ||12-4||35.8%||1-0||25.0%||2-49||(24.7)||2-10||(6)||6-48|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.7||1.7|| ||13-5||36.8%||1-0||42.6%||2-50||(23.6)||19-2||(9.4)||6-55|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.3||0.7||2.0|| ||12-4||31.4%||0-0||0.0%||2-48||(23.9)||1-11||(8.5)||5-39|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CAROLINA 21.6, NEW ORLEANS 20.7|
|10/24/2013||@ TAMPA BAY||31-13||W||-6.5||W||39||O||27-129||23-32-195||0||14-48||30-51-249||1|
|11/10/2013||@ SAN FRANCISCO||10-9||W||6||W||43||U||30-111||16-32-139||2||24-105||11-22-46||2|
|12/8/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/15/2013||NY JETS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||@ ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/13/2013||@ NEW ENGLAND||27-30||L||2.5||L||51||O||26-131||17-36-230||2||35-141||25-43-235||1|
|11/3/2013||@ NY JETS||20-26||L||-6||L||45.5||O||13-41||30-51-366||2||36-198||9-20-140||0|
|12/8/2013||CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/15/2013||@ ST LOUIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/22/2013||@ CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/29/2013||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|CAROLINA: New offensive coordinator Mike Shula was promoted from QB coach, so there won't be many offensive changes. Carolina uses a zone-blocking scheme in a number of looks, from spread to wishbone. Jonathan Stewart figures to lead the RB committee in carries, with DeAngelo Williams in a No. 2 role and Mike Tolbert splitting time at halfback and fullback. They use a lot of zone read options with Cam Newton, who could very well lead the team in rushing again as Shula is committed to letting his star pupil make plays.
This is a vertical passing game that works off the threat of the run. Shula will continue to make it a point to feed Steve Smith any time he's in single coverage. Smith still does most of his work downfield. Flex TE Greg Olsen serves as essentially a No. 2 receiver, working up the seam most of the time but also coming back on some checkdowns in the middle of the field. They started to work in Brandon LaFell last year as a catch-and-run guy, and he figures to kick inside when they increasingly go three-wide with field-stretcher Domenik Hixon outside. The red zone will continue to be where Newton takes over. He had nearly half the team's rushing attempts inside the 10 last year, and he and Tolbert essentially split goal line chances. When they throw, Olsen figures to be the No. 1 target.
This defense will need another year or two before becoming an above-average unit. LB Luke Kuechly led the NFL with 164 tackles as a rookie, and the Panthers drafted two large DTs in Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short who will be great down the road. But although no Carolina player had more than two interceptions in 2012, the team did nothing to bolster its secondary. The best cover men are underwhelming CBs Josh Norman and Josh Taylor, and top SS Haruki Nakamura has no business being a starter in the NFL.|
|NEW ORLEANS: The Saints are a pass-heavy offense, but they feature one of the NFL's most versatile and unique running games. They have a series of looks they can run out of, the most common of which is Mark Ingram behind fullback Jed Collins. They use a series of zone and man blocking schemes borrowed from other systems. Darren Sproles is on the field a lot, but primarily in spread formations from which the Saints almost always throw. Most of his touches will come on receptions. Pierre Thomas is the team's most versatile back.
The return of head coach Sean Payton should be a nice boost for Drew Brees and the passing game. This is a spread passing attack, with a lot of West Coast routes. Brees is most comfortable with Marques Colston, who does a lot of his work facing the line of scrimmage. They'll also use TE Jimmy Graham as basically a receiver 1A, moving him around in formations and having him work underneath or up the seam when the matchup is right. Slot receiver Lance Moore also did more work up the seam last year, though he only plays about 60 percent of snaps. Joe Morgan will take Devery Henderson's field-stretching role on the outside. The Saints are very pass-heavy in the red zone, throwing on a league-high 71.2 percent of their goal-to-go plays in 2012.
The Saints gave up 908 more yards than any other NFL team, setting a league record for futility with 7,042 total yards allowed. They also surrendered the second-most points (28.4 PPG). New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan inherits a defense that recorded just six sacks in the final six games. There are still productive veterans in ILBs Curtis Lofton and Jonathan Vilma to lead the front seven, but two newcomers must have a huge impact right away, former Steelers CB Keenan Lewis, and versatile rookie FS Kenny Vaccaro.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (CAROLINA-NEW ORLEANS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES with Williams, Johnson, Blackburn returning)
*Panthers-Saints Preview* =========================
By KEVIN CHROUST STATS Writer
The Carolina Panthers can become the second team in the NFL to win nine straight games this season. Doing so will require them to hand the New Orleans Saints their first home loss of 2013 on Sunday night, with the winner taking control of the NFC South.
"There is no roof, no sky," Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy said. "We're going up. Every person on this team, every coach on this team has the same mentality right now. I feel like it's contagious. Fans are getting it. They feel like they can't be beat."
This matchup of the two 9-3 teams in the South is the first of two in a three-week span.
After Sunday's 27-6 win over Tampa Bay, which had won three straight, the Panthers will match their stingy defense against Drew Brees and New Orleans' high-powered attack. Carolina is allowing a league-low 13.1 points per game and 289.8 yards, second best in the NFL.
The Saints haven't lost consecutive games in a single regular season under coach Sean Payton since 2009, but they're looking vulnerable after a 34-7 rout at Seattle on Monday.
"It's a setback and now you're on a short week, but we have to make the corrections," Payton said. "We can't just say it didn't happen. But that being said, we have to quickly get focused on Carolina. They're playing as good football as anybody in the league right now."
That short week got even shorter due to a delay with the Saints' charter flight that forced them to stay over in Seattle on Monday. New Orleans didn't get home until after 3 p.m. local time Tuesday, nearly 12 hours after they had planned to return.
The Panthers have won four straight on the road and were the last team to beat New Orleans at the Superdome, 44-38 on Dec. 20. The Saints have outscored opponents 199-95 during their six home victories this year.
Carolina beat the Saints twice last year after losing the previous four matchups.
As good as Carolina has been defensively, coach Ron Rivera knows his team is in for a challenge in holding down New Orleans at home.
"There are a lot of things they're doing offensively that make you say, 'Wow,'" Rivera told the team's official website. "A lot of people thought last year that Jimmy Graham had an off-year, but now watching him he looks like he's in the form he was two years ago. Darren Sproles, I've got a bottle of Tums next to me because he is a heck of a football player. And Drew Brees is having a classic Drew Brees season."
The Seahawks, however, showed it's possible to shut the Saints down. Their seven points matched the fewest they've scored since Payton took over in 2006, while their 188 total yards are the fewest in that time.
Brees' 147 passing yards was his lowest total in a complete game since throwing for 132 on Dec. 24, 2006 against the New York Giants.
Both of those games were on the road, though Brees said Monday's embarrassment had very little to do with location.
"The weather did not play a factor. The noise? It's loud, yes, it's tough to communicate ... but I felt like we did a good job communicating," Brees said. "We were prepared for that. We just got outplayed."
Brees has cracked 300 yards in each of the six home games this season, with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions. His 122.2 home passer rating is second in the league to that of Aaron Rodgers.
New Orleans is averaging 33.2 points at home, trailing only Denver and Dallas.
Carolina's Cam Newton went 18 of 29 for 263 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Bucs. He ran for another, but was displeased with the picks after throwing four in his previous seven games.
The team has turned the ball over seven times in the last eight games and is one of five teams with a plus-10 turnover margin or better.
"We don't want to get accustomed to the careless mistakes, but we're just going to have games like this," Newton said. "We know that we're going to have to minimize these turnovers."
That's especially true against New Orleans, which has given the ball away 14 times, among the lowest totals in the league.
The Panthers will have top pass rusher Charles Johnson back after he missed the last two games with a sprained knee. The defensive end leads the team with 8 1/2 sacks and had two in the clubs' last meeting.
Running back DeAngelo Williams will also return after missing the Tampa Bay game with a bruised quadriceps, and linebacker Chase Blackburn will play after missing three games with a foot injury.
|Last Updated: 12/10/2016 6:15:25 PM EST|