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pakowitz 10-23-2003 05:40 PM

First and 10
 



6. Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: In case you haven't noticed, the Saints are climbing back into the NFC South race. Their 1-4 start came against teams with a combined 22-9 record. Over the next months, the 3-4 Saints can make a statement because they play mostly division teams. Their defense is getting healthier, and the only starter who might be missing Sunday is defensive end Darren Howard, who is just getting the pins removed from his broken wrist. The running game is getting hot. Deuce McAllister is averaging 93 yards a game. But the biggest improvement for the Saints is that their receivers are holding on to the football. The Panthers still match up well against the Saints. What will be interesting to see is whether Jim Haslett copies the Titans and keeps eight defensive linemen and linebackers near the line to match up against the Panthers' multiple tight end sets. For the Saints, it's a must win. Aaron Brooks must outduel former Saints backup Jake Delhomme.


for the rest of this article, click here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/column...ohn&id=1644171


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