Saints Defense Holds Late to Give New Orleans the Victory!
The New Orleans Saints are headed to the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs with a victory at home on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers during Wild Card weekend, 31-26.
The Saints will hit the road next week to take on the Minnesota Vikings and their vaunted defense.
This was the third time the Saints beat the Panthers this season.
Both of these teams gave up yards and put up points on each others defense but it truly came down to who wanted it more. On the final drive of the game it was the Saints who had their coaches back and wanted it more.
On the Saints final offensive possession of the game they wasted away Carolina's three timeouts. New Orleans was facing a third and two with the clock stopped at 2:27 and Sean Payton was faced with a decision, run the ball and guarantee the clock would reach the two minute warning. Or put the ball in your best players hands and try to let Drew Brees pick up the first down and risk an incompletion and the clock stopping.
Payton decided to run the ball at a Carolina front that had stifled the Saints ground game all day long. No gain.
The gambler, Sean Payton, decided to go for it on 4th and two but were unable to pick up the first down to win the game as Brees was intercepted.
Carolina made a push to get into the end zone trailing by five but on a 2nd down from the New Orleans 21 yard line it was Cam Jordan who bull rushed over two Panthers to force Newton into an intentional grounding call. Loss of downs and a ten second run off.
After a blank throw to the end zone on 3rd and 23 it was 4th and 23 and the Saints defense would put the drama to bed as Vonn Bell exploded up the middle and sacked Cam Newton to end the game!
The ground game struggled today for the Saints, totaling only 41 yards between all the runners.
However, if there was any question if Drew Brees could still do it, those who were asking are rather quiet at this moment.
Brees threw for 376 yards (7th time he's passed for over 300 yards in the postseason), two touchdowns and one interception. He was vintage Drew Brees.
The Saints will be playing the Vikings next Sunday at 3:40pm in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.