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Saints cruise into No. 3 seed with easy win over Panthers

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints have finished the season a perfect 8-0 at home, and now they’ll prepare for a home playoff game next weekend.

New Orleans fulfilled coach Sean Payton’s promise to go “full steam ahead” and easily beat Carolina 45-17. But to earn a playoff bye the Saints also needed the 49ers to lose, and that didn’t happen. So the Saints will host a wild card team next weekend.

Their opponent will be either the Lions or Falcons, depending on the result of those teams’ games. The Saints beat both teams handily at the Superdome during the regular season and will be heavy favorites next weekend against either team.

The way quarterback Drew Brees is playing, it’s going to be tough for any team to beat the Saints in the playoffs. Brees completed 28 of 35 passes for 389 yards, with five touchdowns and one interception, before leaving the game to give backup Chase Daniel some playing time. Brees’s NFL record for passing yards in a season stands at 5,476 yards.

Darren Sproles had 168 all-purpose yards to set a new NFL record of 2,696 this season.

Carolina finishes the season at 6-10, but that represents major progress from where the Panthers were a year ago. With Cam Newton at the helm, the Panthers have a good chance of becoming a good team, even if they’re not there yet.

But with Drew Brees at the helm, the Saints are absolutely there. The Saints are good enough to win the Super Bowl.

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22 Responses to “Saints cruise into No. 3 seed with easy win over Panthers”
  1. Wisconsin77 says: Jan 1, 2012 3:53 PM

    Classless running up of the stats by the Saints. But would you expect anything less from this classless organization?

  2. cakemixa says: Jan 1, 2012 3:56 PM

    Packer fans, be scared.

  3. doublebro says: Jan 1, 2012 3:56 PM

    Way to show up Carolina….nice sprinboard into next season.

  4. whatswiththehate says: Jan 1, 2012 3:57 PM

    So while everyone has their eyes glued on this teams’ rookie QB and finding whatever fault they can find to continue defending their personal biases, this Panthers’ team have shown that if they don’t fix their defense and o-line quickly, they will be going through QBs before they ever get to see the door-steps of a play off, nevermind the Superbowl.

    FYI, Panthers fans, decent defending still wins games.

  5. vexey says: Jan 1, 2012 4:02 PM

    I wasn’t expecting a win, but I wasn’t expecting we’d get blown out like this :(

    The Saints are scary

  6. 8man says: Jan 1, 2012 4:02 PM

    Damn! This team is scary. Carolina’s a decent team and will be quite the challenge next year.

    Brees is just absolutely in a zone right now. Maybe a bye week would be a bad thing. Why disrupt that rhythm?

  7. clamnewton says: Jan 1, 2012 4:03 PM

    Before the season, I thought the Saints would win the Super Bowl. After watching them dismantle my Panthers today, I’m even more convinced of that. There are just too many guys to stop on offense – and even if you manage to do that (unlikely), Sprowles can take one back at any time. While I hate the Falcons and Bucs, I don’t feel the same way about the Saints – mainly because of Drew Brees. Good luck, Who Dat nation. I’d like to you guys knock off the Pack in a rematch and win it all.

  8. caseyanthonymunoz says: Jan 1, 2012 4:11 PM

    11 out of Brees 16 games are indoors. His stats are such a joke compared to outdoor QBs.

  9. beastson says: Jan 1, 2012 4:16 PM

    That Panthers D is just a terrible terrible unit. They need to fix that. Their Offense and Cam are playoff worthy.

    4000 passing yards, 500 rushing yards. Way to go rookie.

  10. djp141 says: Jan 1, 2012 4:18 PM

    Panthers are improving, but the Saints are on a different level.

  11. louisianafootballfan says: Jan 1, 2012 4:24 PM

    For those of you saying that this was classless padding of stats, you obviously missed the fact that the 49ers only won by 7. You’d all be talking about how foolish it was to pull starters if the Saints lost and the Rams pulled the upset.

  12. scomibord says: Jan 1, 2012 4:25 PM

    Does anybody else think that mccarthy conceded rodgers mvp to brees by sitting him out this week?

  13. eaglesfan94 says: Jan 1, 2012 4:25 PM

    Why is everyone on here crying about the Saints running up the score or padding Brees’ stats? I don’t like the Saints, but come on. The Panthers always had the option of playing defense.

  14. ninerswilldominatelikebefore says: Jan 1, 2012 4:26 PM

    SAINTS WILL BE ONE AND DONE IN THE PLAYOFFS!! I LOVE HOW ITS ASSUMED A DONE DEAL THAT ITS PACKERS N SAINTS N THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP…..WHILE MY NINERS ARE LURKING AND LICKING THEIR CHOPS TO FACE AND BEAT EITHER ONE OF THESE TEAMS!

  15. yopackgo says: Jan 1, 2012 4:44 PM

    Haha yeah we pack fans are shocking especially after our B team just put up 45 against the lions, an actual playoff team. We will be waiting in lambeau so bring it fools

  16. geauxmez says: Jan 1, 2012 4:44 PM

    they yellin’ blaaaaack and goooooooold in the suuuperbooooowl.

  17. ogsaintcharles says: Jan 1, 2012 4:45 PM

    Classless running up of the stats by the Saints. But would you expect anything less from this classless organization?

    ——————————————————-

    Go ‘head and hate!! Sounds like someone up in Packerland is scared … And it smells like they cut the cheese!! HAHAHA .. Saints rushing attack ranked ninth … Cheeseheads rushing attack ranked 27th. No Clifton. No Bulaga. See ‘ya in Lambeau.

  18. cullenand99 says: Jan 1, 2012 5:04 PM

    @ninerswilldominatelikebefore

    Your Niners gave up 27 points against the team with the second worst record in the league, did I mention they didnt even have their starting quarterback? The 49ers defense is very good, no doubt, but they will not be able to contain offenses like the Saints or Packers. And with the offense that your Niners have, they wont be able to keep up.

  19. mdd913 says: Jan 1, 2012 5:07 PM

    Classless running up of the stats by the Saints. But would you expect anything less from this classless organization?

    ——————————————————————-

    The only thing classless here is certain Packers fans who just can’t handle the fact that another team is getting a little praise every once in a while.

    I thought Saints fans had an inferiority complex but you guys take the cake.

  20. Foresight2011 says: Jan 1, 2012 6:02 PM

    So while everyone has their eyes glued on this teams’ rookie QB and finding whatever fault they can find to continue defending their personal biases, this Panthers’ team have shown that if they don’t fix their defense and o-line quickly, they will be going through QBs before they ever get to see the door-steps of a play off, nevermind the Superbowl.

    FYI, Panthers fans, decent defending still wins games.

    ________________

    You do realize that the Panthers have a total of 17 players on IR including their 3 starting LB, 2 starting DL, a starting corner, a starting safety, and their starting RT. Not to mention a lot the backups ended up on IR as well. They have been playing short handed for the last 10+ weeks.

    That defense has been playing above their weight for the last couple of weeks now and they finally got knockout today.

  21. tarheelpirate says: Jan 1, 2012 9:26 PM

    The Panthers’ defense and special teams are awful, but the offense is really good. They are not at the level of the Saints and Packers’ offense, but next year they will be closer. Getting Beason back on defense will help a great deal, but they will need to improve on the D-line and secondary.

    The Panthers’ future is so bright “I gotta wear shades.”

  22. geauxmez says: Jan 2, 2012 4:58 PM

    we yellin

    WHO DAT
    WHO DAT
    WHO DAT
    WHO DAT

    WHO DAT SAAAAAIIID THE GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS?

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