Mac's Keys to Victory vs the Saints

The Mac Attack
December 01, 2017 - 7:42 am

​Two 8-3 teams and a tie for first place in the NFC South.  A revenge game for the Panthers.  The stakes are high when Carolina visits New Orleans on Sunday.  Here is how the Panthers can end the weekend all alone in first place.....

1) Run the ball - ​The Panthers ran for 132 yards and 6 yards per carry in the first game against the Saints.   And, that was with Cam only running the ball a season low 3 times for 16 yards.  Cam is averaging 52 yards per game on the ground since that game and the Panthers are running for 185 yards per game in the past 4 weeks.   Add in the fact that N.O. is giving up the 29th most yards per carry and there is a real opportunity for the Panthers to run it well on Sunday.

2) Control the clock- ​The Panthers run success in the first meeting only did so much.  They fell behind and only ran it 22 times, while passing 33 and, they lost the time of possession battle too.  This week, the rush attempts need to be in the 30s and Carolina needs to win the time of possession competition to keep Drew Brees off the field.

3) Pressure Brees- ​Brees has a 104 QB rating this year but when he is pressured, it drops to 56.  Carolina has not had success getting to Brees.  They sack him only 1.3 times per game in their 22 matchups.  Even if they don't get to him, the Panthers must make him get the ball out quick.  New Orleans is expected to be without LT Terron Armstead  and RT Ryan Ramcyk is banged up too.  Carolina must take advantage of that.

​4) Win the big play matchup-  In the last meeting, the Saints had 5 plays of 21 yards or more against the Panthers.  Carolina gave up a handful of big plays last week to the Jets as well. The Carolina Defense must limit the Saints explosive plays this time around. The good news is that N.O. gives up a bunch of big plays themselves. They have allowed the most 20 plus yard pass plays this season and they yield the highest percentage of 20 yard runs.

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