NFC Wild Card Preview: Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wipes his eye on the bench after being sacked and poked in the eye

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wipes his eye on the bench after being sacked and poked in the eye

The Saints actually left the door open for Carolina to win the NFC North when they lost 31-24 on the road to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday but managed to hold on for the division title when Carolina was defeated by Atlanta. In the two regular-season meetings with Carolina, New Orleans had 14 so-called "chunk" plays, compared with nine for the Panthers. They'll also need their running backs to be fired up and ready to hit their lanes hard. A large part of that was the improvement of the Saints running game with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

The third-round pick from Tennessee has been a matchup problem for just about every team hehas faced, including the Panthers.

If you don't want to sign up for Sky, you can watch the playoffs on NowTV with their Sky Sports pass starting from £6.99. In Week 3, a 34-13 victory, the Saints had 149 rushing yards on a 5.5-yard average per carry. The Saints will start the game's opening possession at their 25.

McCaffrey's influence has been in the passing game and he leads the team with 80 receptions, second in yards on 651.

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Marshon Lattimore has emerged as a first-class safety for the New Orleans Saints.

But Cam comes alive on the big stage, and with a home crowd comes pressure for a Saints team that hasn't had much play-off football of late.

Carolina's defensive strength is up front, with linebacker Luke Kuechly and veteran defensive end Julius Peppers. Kamara added to his impressive resume this week when ESPN Stats & Information revealed that his 7.7 yards per touch is the highest single-season average in National Football League history among players with at least 200 offensive touches.

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