The Carolina Panthers had to win the last game of the season to get the NFC South title and a first-round bye so it’s not like it was a time they could rest their players. Steve Smith had to sit out with an injury, and there were not a lot of other options for Cam Newton to rely on, but there need to be.
The Carolina Panthers started off the season with a 1-3 start, and were tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second place. It wasn’t a second place that was even close to the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, but the rest of the season proved to turn out completely different.
Drew Brees will be much more successful against the Eagles defense than back-up Kyle Orton was in the final game of the regular season. But, if the Eagles can knock Brees off his game, then the Saints could quickly run out of options to try and keep up wit the Eagles offense.
Both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers sit tied atop the NFC South at 10-4. One of them will emerge as the winner of the conference in two weeks. The question is, who will secure the division title?
In a game that was expected to be a defensive battle, the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers both displayed very efficient offenses. Unfortunately for New England, Carolina’s offense was just a little more efficient.
No one thought the Carolina Panthers were a serious Super Bowl contender when they started the 2013 season losing three of their first four games, but thanks to a five-game winning streak, they are now one of the hottest teams in the league.
Even if the New England Patriots had lost this game to the New Orleans Saints, they had still demonstrated they could go toe-to-toe with an elite NFL team. Thanks to Tom Brady and Kenbrell Thompkins, New England didn’t have to settle for a mere moral victory.
After an extremely disappointing 13-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Five, the New England Patriots will now face the 5-0 New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium in Week Six. This won’t be easy.
This was a game that most experts picked New England to lose, but the Patriots persevered on Sunday night to earn a 30-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The victory allowed New England to keep pace with the undefeated Miami Dolphins for first place in the AFC East.
The 3-0 New England Patriots won’t play the 3-0 Miami Dolphins for another month, but after the AFC East rival Dolphins beat the Atlanta Falcons last week 27-23, New England’s Week Four contest at Atlanta should give the Pats some idea of where they stand compared to the Fins.