Saints Steamroll the Carolinas, Panthers Feared Dead

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Oh my what an ass whooping, Who Dats!! You know things are bad for Carolina when no one is even mentioning running up a score and instead the Saints are being applauded for maintaining focus while dismantling a sad rival. That game was a special treat because it was easy on the eyes and relaxing, which is great considering we have to play this Wild Card weekend despite being 13-3.  Did you know that there has only been one other 13-3 team since 1990 that has had to play wild card weekend?  Yep, you guessed it.  Us.

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Sean Payton had a birthday, and I don’t know about y’all, but that game felt like a gift to the fans and himself. Carolina looked like they were done on the opening kickoff. We had our way with them all day, and we didn’t even really play that great, all things considered. But who cares?!? Because that’s how god damn easy that game was. It’s a stress reducing sauna of a game, and we’ll need it because this weekend against Minnesota will be a whole different kind of day. Throw some water on the coals. Let’s geaux!!

THE RECAP:

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New Orleans opened the game with the ball, and flawlessly marched down the field in 4 minutes to score with Alvin Kamara like a wrecking ball hitting a gingerbread house.  That set the tone for the entire game.  The Panthers didn’t even score until their 8th possession of the game, and that was a field goal.  And that only goes to halftime.  Before that, Carolina managed to fumble the ball and throw an amazing pick 6 to AJ Klein.

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The Saints stalled out on several drives and had to punt because of missed throws or dropped passes, and it was still 35 – 3 by the half.  Will Grier got absolutely blown up by Kiko Alonso in the beginning of the game, and Grier played gimpy until whoever the coach is had had enough and put in Kyle Allen…also before halftime.

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By halftime, the Saints had boasted 2 rushing TDs by Kamara, a TD reception by Tre’quan Smith, a pick 6 by Klein, and an unbelievable touchdown catch by Jared Cook (very worth looking up the video in case you missed it).  The Jared Cook one was especially eye-popping because he caught the ball in the air while spinning away from the pass.  Please do that every week, Jared Cook.

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The second half did not boast the fireworks of the first half as more and more starters were being benched for the day.  But in the 3rd quarter, there was one last amazing drive where Brees hit Taysom Hill for a 45 yard strike that was mostly Hill running wide open and a fantastic block downfield by Michael Thomas.  

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Carolina was able to muster a touchdown drive once all of our starting defense was pretty much off the field.  The game ended on a Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins route-jumping interception to change possession and end the game.  The final score was 42 – 10.  The Saints broke a franchise record for biggest score differential in a victory.  It was the easiest game of the season by far.

THE RECLINE:

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This was a blowout by all definitions.  Carolina showed up with 3 players hell bent on not going down easily.  Unfortunately for them, there were 50 other players that didn’t give a shit.  Most of the stops made by the Panthers weren’t really made by the Panthers.  Drew was 19 of 30 passes, and that was due to a missed throw, a dropped pass, or Tre Boston deflecting 3 passes.

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The Saints punted 6 times against the Panthers, so it was by no means the onslaught that it could’ve been, and they STILL threw up 42 points on the board!  Mike Thomas was oddly quiet, and hopefully he’ll be good to go against the Vikings this weekend.  Other than that, the Saints stayed pretty healthy here at the end of the season.

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You gotta love how this offense is clicking now.  Drew is getting very comfortable with Jared Cook and Taysom Hill, even Tre’quan!  Shit, Smith was the receiving leader against the Panthers.  And y’all know Sean Payton has been saving some special plays for the post season!  With the offense and special teams coming together at the right time entering the postseason, there will be a lot of eyes looking at the defense to step up to the rest of the team, injuries are not excuses.

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Meanwhile, the Panthers finish their season as sad shells of what they were 17 weeks ago.  Let’s all hope Mike McCarthy gets signed by them.  That, coupled with Atlanta maintaining Dan Quinn, is looking GREAT for us Saints fans in 2020.  It’s rare to see a team as sad as Carolina looked.  I have to go back to the 2005 Saints in my memory, and at least Carolina had real home games by comparison.

NEXT UP:  WILD CARD WEEKEND SAINTS PRECLINE!!

**Like my blog? Hate my blog? Got questions? Hit me up with your questions and comments on Twitter @saintsrecline or email me at saintsrecline@gmail.com**

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