Thanks for checking out my preview of the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints game to be played on Sunday January first 2012. Earlier this year the Saints defeated the Panthers 30 to 27 and you can read the review of that game here.
The New Orleans Saints will be bringing their best this week to play the Carolina Panthers. The Saints are thought to be many as the only team that can beat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Playoffs. New Orleans won the NFC South division title but want the chance to play everyone but the Packers on their home field.
The Carolina Panthers can upset the Saints and really put a crimp in their postseason plans. The Saints have a great offense and can stop the run with their defense. However the New Orleans Saints struggle defending the pass which is what the Panthers do very well.
The Carolina Panthers offense must throw the ball early and often and run in selective situations to upset the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers need to get Steve Smith more involved this week to beat the Saints. If Smith makes a big play early he seems to feed off that and make more big plays as a game progresses.
Knocking of the New Orleans Saints would be a big feather in Coach Ron Rivera’s cap. Rivera is a defensive specialist who has managed to help improve the Panthers defense despite a lack of talent on the line and a rash of injuries all over the unit.
The Panthers can create a buzz and some momentum for 2012 if they knock off the New Orleans Saints. On defense the Panthers must try to pressure Drew Brees who quietly is having a monster year for the Saints.
James Anderson and Charles “Big Money” Johnson will be the keys for the Panthers defense. Johnson has had a decent but not great season but he is the best bet on the Panthers to get to Brees. James Anderson is the team’s best all around player and I feel he is the Panthers defensive MVP.
If the Panthers defense can pressure Brees and cause a turnover or two then Carolina has a good chance to upset the Saints. Cam Newton and the offense can and will score on the Saints and I expect this game to be a shootout from whistle to whistle. Go Panthers!