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Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; It wasn't pretty. At times, it was downright frustrating. But the New Orleans Saints will take it. They ground out a workmanlike 12-9 win against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night (Dec. 17) at Bank of America Stadium. It wasn't ...

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Old 12-18-2018, 04:06 AM   #1
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It wasn't pretty. At times, it was downright frustrating. But the New Orleans Saints will take it.

They ground out a workmanlike 12-9 win against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night (Dec. 17) at Bank of America Stadium.

It wasn't what we've grown accustomed to seeing from the high-flying Saints this season, but it will look just as pretty in the win-loss standings. The Saints are 12-2 and now return home for a pair of games in the Superdome and a chance to close out the season with the best record in club history.



Here are my takeaways from the game:

1. The defense won this one
The Saints defense can't play much better than it did Monday night. It produced four sacks, five tackles for loss, five passes defensed and two huge red-zone takeaways. In a tight, white-knuckle affair, they gave no quarter. They held Carolina's running game in check, limited the big plays and made Christian McCaffrey work for every yard he gained. The performance was the latest in a string of strong efforts by the defense. Other than the trick-play touchdown the Saints surrendered nothing.

2. Emotions ran high on both sidelines all night.
As you would expect from these two longtime division rivals, emotions ran high on both sides. Trash talk was rampant and players from both teams engaged in several post-play skirmishes. The chippiness was not reserved for any particular unit, either. On special teams, Craig Robertson engaged in a game-long back-and-forth with David Mayo. Even the normally mild-mannered Taysom Hill got into the act. The Panthers said they felt “disrespected” by the Saints during New Orleans’ three-game sweep last season, and they clearly used the perceived slight as motivational fuel for Monday night’s game.

3. It was a tough night for the passing attack
Drew Brees wasn't his usual dominant self. HIs final numbers -- 203 passing yards, 69.1 passer efficiency rating -- reflected his struggles and were definitely un-Brees-like. He struggled to find a rhythm in part because of Carolina's stingy defense and in part because of some untimely drops by his receivers. The Panthers did a solid job of disrupting the timing of the Saints offense and bracketing Michael Thomas and making Brees call on other options in the passing attack. Brees' second-quarter interception came on a tip-drill play that should have been caught by Dan Arnold. The interception he threw on the two-point conversion attempt was on him, though. He tried to force a throw into tight coverage and Donte Jackson made him pay for it. It was the third consecutive so-so game for Brees, whose MVP candidacy might be losing momentum at the wrong time.


4. Eli Apple continued to shine
Eli Apple is coming on. He enjoyed a second consecutive strong game with an interception and two passes defensed. The third-year cornerback from Ohio State made the biggest defensive play of the game when he picked off Cam Newton in the end zone in the final seconds of the first half. He displayed textbook coverage technique, finding Devin Funchess with his hand while turning for the ball just as it arrived. The interception was Apple’s second as a Saint and thwarted a prime Carolina scoring opportunity.

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Old 12-18-2018, 05:07 AM   #2
 
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Saints defense ‘turning it up’ at the right time as hot streak continues vs. Panthers




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Old 12-18-2018, 05:19 AM   #3
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Our defense is winning games for us at the right time. Sure the offense is a little off right now but we got to the last 2 home games 1 game up in the homefield advantage race and that says a lot!
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:11 AM   #4
 
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers




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Old 12-18-2018, 07:13 AM   #5
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Vonn Bell you magnificent bastard you made my night.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Did you see the article where Cam Newton was saying he didn't know what was wrong with his arm/shoulder. I can tell him: it's psychosomatic.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

I'm not sure how many votes Demario Davis will get but he's playing at a Pro Bowl level. He was all over the field. Best FA signing this off season.

13 + weeks later, no one can consistently run (McCaffery 15 carries/53 yards) on this defense. That #1, 2 ranking is no fluke. Legit group.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Originally Posted by CheramieIII View Post
... but we got to the last 2 home games 1 game up in the homefield advantage race and that says a lot!
It's a 1.5 game lead due to the head to head win against the Rams. That's why the magic number is 1 and not 2.

The Saints needs another gritty win come Sunday against a Pittsburgh team that's in a precarious playoff position. Find a way to win Sunday and the Saints will have nearly 3 weeks to get right and ready for their SB run.

SFIAH
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:51 AM   #9
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Originally Posted by SaintFanInATLHELL View Post
It's a 1.5 game lead due to the head to head win against the Rams. That's why the magic number is 1 and not 2.

The Saints needs another gritty win come Sunday against a Pittsburgh team that's in a precarious playoff position. Find a way to win Sunday and the Saints will have nearly 3 weeks to get right and ready for their SB run.

SFIAH
Treat Pittsburg as a must win. Wrap up home field and sit starters vs Carolina in the dome. Carolina is pissed and would like nothing more than to shatter our hopes in the post season. I can see them playing dirty and trying to hurt some of our players. We haven’t just beaten them the last 4 times we met we demoralized them. They wanted a win so bad last night. I love a win against the Panthers the best when the game lies in the hands of Newton and we crush him. A 4th down sack with the game on the line is my favorite way of beating them. We are in Cams head real good right now.

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Old 12-18-2018, 11:52 AM   #10
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Re: Observations from the Saints' 12-9 win against the Panthers

Originally Posted by ChrisXVI View Post
Vonn Bell you magnificent bastard you made my night.
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