The New Orleans Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon in Week 13. Here is the game recap, all the highlights and the final score.
In a huge game in the NFC South, the New Orleans Saints were able to get it done at home versus the Carolina Panthers. The Saints completed the season sweep of the Panthers, winning on Sunday 31-21. New Orleans improves to 9-3, while the Panthers fall to 8-4.
New Orleans leaned heavily on its two stud running backs in former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram Jr. and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner Alvin Kamara. Together, they amassed 145 rushing yards on 23 carries for three touchdowns. Carolina had no chance of slowing down the Saints rushing attack. Few teams do.
The Panthers did get a good game out of starting quarterback Cam Newton, who completed 17 of 27 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He would also scramble for 51 yards on six carries. Newton kept the Panthers in this one, but it was the Saints’ day and is probably the Saints’ season.
Though Carolina looks like a playoff team, the Panthers’ chances of winning the NFC South have largely dissipated. They have now been swept by the Saints in the season series. Carolina also has to play the Atlanta Falcons on the road in the final quarter of the season. The Panthers can win 10 games and make the NFC playoffs, but it’s not likely that they’ll win the divisional race over New Orleans.
As for the Saints, they will need to take care of Atlanta to ensure that the division is theirs. Right now, it’s almost impossible to not see the Saints hosting a few playoff games in the NFC. They are right up there with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC hierarchy.
New Orleans feels like a team of destiny. After dropping two games to start the year, the Saints have gone 9-1 in their last 10. Losing last week to the Rams in Los Angeles was rough, but this team is clearly resilient and should have a say in who wins the NFC this year.
Carolina gave a decent effort on offense in Week 13, but it was the defense, especially the run defense that let this one slip away for the Panthers. It was an excellent division rivalry game being played out in New Orleans on Sunday, but we all know who the better of these two teams are going forward. No doubts about that.
- Alvin Kamara: Kamara had nine carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns. He also had five catches for 66 yards.
- Mark Ingram Jr.: Ingram had 14 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. He also had six catches for 37 yards.
- Drew Brees: Brees completed 25 of 34 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans has only a few days to get ready for its next huge ball game. The Saints will have to travel on the road to play their arch rival Falcons on Thursday Night Football in Week 14. Kickoff from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will be at 8:25 p.m. ET on Dec. 7. NBC, the NFL Network and Amazon will all carry the game.
Carolina will have to play another worthy adversary in the NFC next week. The Panthers will host the Vikings on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte will be at 1:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 10. CBS will have the early afternoon telecast.