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Know Your Foe: New Orleans Saints


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers and Saints have both been eliminated from playoff contention, but they'll have a chance to end their seasons on a positive note in Week 18.

Carolina (6-10) travels to Caesars Superdome for its final game of the season this Sunday at 1 p.m., taking on surging New Orleans (7-9) with hopes of showing improvements after a loss to Tampa Bay last week.

The Saints lead the all-time series 29-27 over the Panthers, including a 15-13 record in New Orleans. Carolina won the season's first matchup against the Saints in a 22-14 victory at Bank of America Stadium, the Panthers' first win of the year in Week 3. 

Here's what to know about the Saints:


The Saints extended their late-season win streak to three with a 20-10 victory over the Eagles on the road last week. Philadelphia entered the Week 17 matchup looking to clinch the top seed in the NFC, but New Orleans capitalized on its opportunities against an Eagles team without quarterback Jalen Hurts. 

The Saints led throughout the contest in Philadelphia, and they punctuated their win with Marshon Lattimore's 12-yard interception of Gardner Minshew returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Lattimore had just returned after missing 10 games with an abdominal injury. 

New Orleans' defense continued exerting late-year dominance, holding Philadelphia to its first scoreless first half of the season and a season-low 10 points. 

Quarterback Andy Dalton put up 204 yards on 18-of-22 passing with no touchdowns and an interception against the Eagles. The 35-year-old signal-caller has started for New Orleans since Week 4, putting up the best completion percentage (67.1 percent) of his career. The Panthers played injured quarterback Jameis Winston when they matched up with the Saints in Week 3. 

The Saints defeated Atlanta and Cleveland before beating Philadelphia to continue their three-game winning streak.

Chris Olave


New Orleans' 16th-ranked passing offense has averaged 220.6 yards per game, and the Saints are paced by an impressive rookie wide receiver.

First-year wideout Chris Olave is nearing a 1,000-year season, coming into Week 18 with 982 yards on 67 catches with three touchdowns. He had his most productive game of the season against Carolina in Week 3, putting up 147 yards on nine receptions with Winston at quarterback.

Fellow rookie wide receiver Rashid Shaheed has also made an impact in his first year, leading the Saints against Philadelphia with 79 yards on six catches.

Tight end/utility man Taysom Hill took his season-high 14 rushing attempts for 46 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles, adding to his 551 rush yards on the season. Running back Alvin Kamara leads New Orleans on the ground with 791 yards on 200 attempts this year, averaging 56.5 yards per game. Kamara has added another 487 yards in the receiving game on 56 catches.

The Saints are 6-1 in games where they've rushed for at least 130 yards. They average 115 rush yards per game, ranked 19th in the league.

Cameron Jordan


The Saints have gone five games in a row allowing 18 points or less and seven straight allowing 20 or less, punching in consistently strong performances to end the season. 

Defensive end Cameron Jordan sacked Minshew three times last week, cementing himself as New Orleans' all-time sack leader in his 12th season. Jordan leads the Saints with 8.5 sacks on the year, followed by linebacker Kaden Elliss with 7.0 and linebacker Demario Davis with 6.5 on the year. 

The Saints' 46 total sacks all year are fifth in the NFL, setting up for the league's third-best passing defense, which has allowed 193.9 pass yards per game. 

Davis leads New Orleans with 101 total tackles this year, with safety Tyrann Mathieu (83 tackles) and linebacker Pete Werner (78) behind him.

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.

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