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Yet despite the offensive struggles for most of the game, the Panthers still had a chance to pull it out when Brees and Payton made a decision to gamble on fourth down at the Carolina 47 yard line with under two minutes to go, knowing a first down would seal the victory. "This was a big game, and now, we have to get ready for next week". Cam Newton drove the Panthers to the Saints' 21, but the game ended with a fourth-down sack. It rose to the occasion and put the finishing touches on Cam Newton and the Panthers. The former Ohio State Buckeye will get to match talents with former MI wide receiver Devin Funchess, who leads the Panthers with 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.
"'Find your matchups and let's go make some plays.' And that's what we were able to do".
That's how chaotic the final moments of Sunday's Wild-Card game between the Saints and the Carolina Panthers proved to be at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Newton was sacked on fourth down with five seconds left to seal the outcome.
"I'm frustrated", Newton said. In addition to his two tackles, Lattimore broke up a pass intended for Devin Funchess on a crucial third down on the game's final drive. "I'm not going to take the cowardly way and point somebody else out".
"The coaches wanted to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands fast", Bell said.
"I know everyone says they have the best fans", said Brees.
Shortly after, Brees threw a 46-yard completion to Michael Thomas for a first-and-goal at the 5.
The balance of the Saints' offense that was on display during the regular season gave way to Brees being the centerpiece in a pass-first approach Sunday. The Panthers had held the ball for more than eight minutes, in what was then a scoreless game.
Bush led the 2009 Saints in the Who Dat cheer before the game. But that just put the ball in the hands of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was almost flawless.
"We've been playing together for a while now, so we kind of know the strengths and the weaknesses of the guys".
And then, with the season on the line, the defense rose up to keep the Panthers from scoring the touchdown they had to have in the end. Even after an 11 win season, tied for fifth best in franchise history, there has been no real consistency from this playoff bound Panthers team. But the Panthers stalled four times from inside the New Orleans 25, settling for four field goal attempts on those drives, one of which kicker Graham Gano surprisingly missed.
"We wanted it more", Jordan said. "This is 2017. That's a long time ago". Two plays later, rookie Alvin Kamara ran 2 yards for a touchdown and a 31-19 lead with 5:08 left. We just tried to come out and execute.
Newton was spectacular. The coaches and management, allowing him to go into this game with these receivers, were the ones who failed. Backup QB Derek Anderson came in on a key third down.
The NFL said it planned to discuss the matter with the Panthers medical staff before commenting further.
Brees passed at will on the Panthers defense, which was lucky enough to cling on until the end. They did suffer a loss to the offensive line that safeguards Brees when guard Andrus Peat was taken from the field on a cart, reportedly after suffering a fractured fibula. "It's not like, "Oh, the playoffs are here, it's time to ramp it up or things are a little more important.' It's always important for me".