The New Orleans Saints have a pivotal Wild Card match-up on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. This game will be the first of what could be a Super Bowl run for the Saints. Drew Brees and the offense have been electric all season long. New Orleans has a Rookie of the Year candidate in running back Alvin Kamara. The Saints defeated Carolina twice this season and won both games by double digits. Could Sunday be another monstrous effort from the Saints? Who can be the difference makers in Sunday’s game?
The Saints’ defense has held its own throughout the season. Star rookie Marshon Lattimore was held out during the first two match-ups against the Panthers. With Lattimore back on Sunday, this defense is sure to be much improved. New Orleans is tremendously better on the defensive side when Lattimore is on the field. But not only is Lattimore back, but the Saints will be without a few of their defensive starters for this one. Could that have an effect on Carolina being bale to score more? New Orleans will certainly be set up for success on defense despite not having a few of their starters. What about the offense?
Drew Brees has been putting up MVP numbers through 2017. As he and the Saints take the field on Sunday, Brees will look to continue that success against a surging Panthers team. A battle of two talented quarterbacks will ensue as Brees seeks to one up Cam Newton yet again for a third time this season. But factor in star rookie tailback Alvin Kamara and the success that he has brought the Saints in the rushing attack. Kamara is playing at an elite rookie level so far. He has been the Saints’ best running back all season. The dynamic duo of Kamara and Ingram has been a dominant force to reckon with in the NFC.
The offensive difference maker in this game will be Alvin Kamara. Even though wide receiver Michael Thomas has been outstanding, it’s hard to bet against Kamara providing the tempo that New Orleans needs to advance to the Divisional Round. Expect the rookie to get a number of touches and be a crucial factor in the receiving game as well.
On the defensive side, Lattimore will provide the spark that the defense needs to stop Newton and the Panthers’ elusive offense. Not playing in the first twi match-ups had to be doubting to Lattimore, but he will certainly have a difference in this one. Many Saints fans are anxious to see what the rookie can bring forth as he faces Cam Newton for the first time in his young NFL career.
All in all, the Saints are favored to win and advance. Factor in these two difference makers, and New Orleans Saints fans should be anxious to head to Minnesota next weekend for a tough divisional round match-up.