Week 11 - New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

The 4-5 New Orleans Saints travel to North Carolina to take on the 3-6 Panthers in this week’s Thursday night matchup. Both teams are coming off losses, which stopped a 2 game win streak. Carolina blew a 2-touchdown halftime lead in their 20-17 loss to the Kansas City chiefs. The Panthers were shut out in the second half and committed two big 4th quarter turnovers. New Orleans suffered a 25-23 defeat to the Denver Broncos on a blocked extra point late in the game, which was returned for the deciding two points.

Despite 4 turnovers, New Orleans had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees had a mixed day as he completed 21 of 29 passes for 303 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Willie Snead had a good game as he caught 4 passes for 57 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandin Cooks led the team 98 yards on 3 catches including a 32 yards touchdown, which tied the game late in the fourth quarter. Mark Ingram led the running game with 50 yards on 11 carries. They had 80 rushing yards as a team 1 week after gaining 248 yards on the ground against the San Francisco 49ers. Defensively, they were able to intercept Trevor Siemian twice and sacked him 6 times for a loss of 24 yards. They had 8 tackles for losses and did not give up a play that went for more than 18 yards. They did a solid job against the rush allowing 103 yards on 37 carries, which is an average of less than 3 yards per rush.

Carolina’s defense allowed Kansas City to gain just 269 yards and the Chiefs had just 1 play gain more than 16 yards. They intercepted Alex Smith once and had 3 sacks for a loss of 13 yards. They allowed the Chiefs to rush for 91 yards on 20 carries. Offensively, Cam Newton finished 23 of 38 for 261 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The interception was a devastating pick-six in the 4th quarter. He also rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. His favorite target was Kelvin Benjamin who had 7 catches for 84 yards. Devin Funchess had 3 catches for 56 yards and the only passing touchdown.

New Orleans has gone 6-3 against the spread this season including 5-0 as the underdog. The Panthers are 2-6-1 against the spread this season including 2-5 as the favorite. Carolina will have home field advantage and is favored by 4 points in this game. These 2 teams last met in week 6 with the Saints defeating the Panthers at home 41-38. Drew Brees threw for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns in that game as Cam Newton threw for 322 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Despite a 3-6 record, the Panthers are only 2.5 games out of first place in the NFC South and will be looking for revenge at home.

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