I really believed that the Saints would move the ball against Seattle. I was wrong.
Now the Saints are at home, where they are nearly invincible in prime time games with this coach-quarterback combo. It seems like a lock that they will right the ship and sail on to victory as NFC South champs. As Lee Corso would say.....Not so fast, my friend!
If you look at the Panthers and the Seahawks you will see that they are eerily similar. Both have brutal attacking defenses, Carolinas front seven is better, Seattles secondary is better, but they are similar units for sure. Both have mobile quarterbacks, with Wilson being the better passer and Newton being the superior runner with his size-speed combination. They are both playing well, and their supporting casts contribute in every conceivable way. If the Saints are going to get knocked off at home, it will be by these Panthers.
1. Drew Brees will have a better game than Monday night, but it won't be up to his normal standards.
There will be Saints passing touchdowns. Two to Jimmy Graham, who exists as the single largest mismatch they have and maybe one to Kenny Stills. Stills can run and get deep so I give this a possibility. Drew will be harrassed and knocked down all night. They will get to him. This will be Carolina's focus. Kill the head and the body will die.
2. Carolina will take away the screen game with Sproles and Thomas.
The Saints will not be able to run, so the will go to their excellent screen pass game. The Seattle linebackers took it away on Monday. Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly and company will take it away Sunday night. This will force Brees downfield. See No. 1 above.
3. Cam Newton's play will decide this game.
This is Cam's big boy game.He must step up and lead this team against a seasoned and effective opponant.The Saints defense is better than the Patriots he beat a couple of weeks ago, he won't be able to make many mistakes or lose focus. When he stinks, the Panthers lose, no matter how good their defense plays. If he gets that dejected six year old puss on, Carolina is finished. Kurt Vonnegut said, "We are what we pretend to be." Newton pretends to be Superman. It's time to nut up or shut up.