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Know Your Foe: New Orleans Saints

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CHARLOTTE – The Panthers hit the road this weekend to take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at the Caesars Superdome.

The 1:00 p.m. EST matchup pits Carolina (1-11), coming off a 21-18 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, against the 5-7 Saints, who were defeated 33-28 at home last week by the Detroit Lions. The game is set to air on FOX.

The Panthers and Saints have met 57 times in the regular season, with New Orleans leading the series 29-28. More on the series history can be found here.

Here's what to know about the Saints:

Versatility Unlocked

One of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the NFL, Alvin Kamara is dangerous on the ground and through the air. 

Through nine games in 2023, the Tennessee product leads the Saints with 133 carries for 508 yards and four touchdowns, plus he leads all NFL running backs with 60 receptions for 413 yards. Add it all up, and it's an impressive 921 total scrimmage yards. 

The Saints also have a versatile X-factor in Taysom Hill. A Swiss Army knife of a player, Hill lines up under center, out wide and in the backfield with the ability to run, pass, or catch the ball on any play. 

For example, in New Orleans' November 5 win over the Chicago Bears, the BYU alum boasted a team-leading 11 carries for 52 yards, completed a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Juwan Johnson and caught four balls for 13 yards and a score. 

On the year, Hill has 70 rushes for 346 yards and four touchdowns, 26 receptions for 229 yards and a touchdown and has gone 5-of-8 for 72 yards. Oh, and he's also got one special teams tackle.


Olave's Outbursts

Second-year wideout Chris Olave burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2022 with 72 receptions for 1,042 yards (14.5 avg.) and hasn't cooled off. 

Already sitting at 890 yards this year, Olave only needs 110 yards to top the 1,000-yard mark again, which would make him only the third Saint to open his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns (Marques Colston and Michael Thomas).

Over Olave's last three games, he has tallied 94, 114 and 119 yards, so he's finishing the season strong.


Up-and-Coming Corner

An unsung player in the Saints' secondary is cornerback Paulson Adebo. A third-round selection out of Stanford in 2021, Adebo showed promise in 2022, starting 12 contests and leading the team's corners with 60 tackles and seven passes defensed. 

This year, Adebo is breaking out. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, he has 48 tackles, four interceptions, 14 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries. He even earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week after a two-interception (three total takeaways) performance on Nov. 5 against Chicago.

The Panthers trail the all-time series against the Saints, 27-29. Carolina has played New Orleans more than any other team in its history.