Alvin Kamara totals only 33 yards, finds end zone in Saints' win

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

With the victory, the fourth-seeded Saints will head to Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday to visit the second-seeded Minnesota Vikings in a NFC Divisional Playoff game.

Under Richardson, the Panthers have compiled an overall record - regular season and postseason - of 183-184-1 since the Carolina's inaugural season in 1995. In the second quarter, Newton hit Brenton Bursin on a crossing route with lots of open space but he tripped over the 28-yard line.

"We wanted it more", Jordan said.

Drew Brees and the Saints are celebrating.

"If a team is going to give you that, then I feel with the matchups we have outside that there should be opportunities", Brees said.

The next time Carolina got the ball, the Panthers faced second-and-7 from their 20, and Newton took a hard hit to the head from Saints defensive end David Onyemata. Cam Newton drove the Panthers to the Saints' 21, but the game ended with a fourth-down sack.

Brees, who turns 39 January 15th, passed for 376 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-26 playoff win over Carolina. Fullback Zach Line scored on a one-yard plunge the next play to put the Saints up 21-6 with 43 seconds left before the break.

And then came the game's most crucial call.

The Saints started the scoring Sunday when Brees unleashed an 80-yard touchdown to Ted Ginn in the first quarter.

Saints running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who combined for more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage this season, were held to 68 total yards.

New Orleans led 24-12 heading into the final 15 minutes of the game, but Newton got the Panthers within five points with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen with 12:47 left in the game. But the Panthers killed themselves with red-zone failures. Graham Gano's 29-yarder cut the Saints lead to 21-12. "It just killed everything for us", said one Panther's fan. "My helmet had come down low enough over my eyelid and it got pressed by the player's stomach". Still, they did put themselves in a tough position to begin with. "It creates an atmosphere that makes you think, 'No matter what, we're going to find a way to win this game'". Olsen finished with eight catches for 107 yards and the touchdown.

The Carolina Panthers are facing scrutiny from the NFL after quickly clearing quarterback Cam Newton to play Sunday, less than two weeks after a league mandate requiring more extensive concussion testing for players demonstrating obvious symptoms.

Newton had a superb performance in which he threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 37 yards. "And it was really getting poked in the eye".

That defense was key to the Saints' return to relevance this season, after being ranked 27, 31 and 31 on that side of the ball the past three years.

Now it's on to Minnesota where the Saints didn't exactly distinguish themselves in Week 1, falling victim to one of the NFL's top defensive units and hot-handed quarterback Sam Bradford who suffered a knee injury and relinquished the starting job to veteran Case Keenum.