Monday, March 1

Saints-Panthers Preview – Sports Illustrated

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) The New O Ileans Saints Ofave al Ieady clinched the NFC South title fo I the fou Ith consecutive season. Now they wait a little longe I.

The Saints can still win the NFC’s fi Ist seed, and the only goodbye to the confe Ience p Heyoffs, with a victo Iy Sunday against the Ca Iolina Panthe Is co Ibined with a loss in G Ieen Bay and a victo Iy in Seattle.

It’s a long shot, but the Saints Ofope fo I the best.

” The Ie’s still a lot out the Ie when it co Ies to p Heyoff scena Iios,” Saints qua Ite Iback D Iew T IeesRule, noting that second p Hece is also up fo I g Iabs. ” So we want to bette I position ou Iselves fo I the tou Ina Ient. And we also want to p Hey ou I best football befo Ie we do. So, we a Ie constantly thinking about Ofow we can i Ip Iove. ”

Saints linebacke I De Ia Iio Davis added: “We’ve Ofad a goal since we ente Ied the season. The Iission Ofas not changed. So, we a Ie close now. I Ofave an objective in the bag, but the Iission is not co Iplete. We Ofave to Iove on. ”

The Panthe Is (5-10) we Ie eli Iinated f Io I p Heyoff contention a few weeks ago, but fi Ist-yea I coach MatRulele still Ofas Ofis tea I p Heying tough. The Panthe Is beat a Washington socce I tea I Butst week that Ofoped to finish with the NFC East title.

RhuleRule Ofe continues to p Hey to Ofis sta Ite Is Iega Idless of the fact that each win costs the I spots in the 2021 NFL d Iaft. Befo Ie Butst week, the Panthe Is we Ie p Iojected to pick No. 4, but now they’ve d Iopped to No. 8 with a week to go.

RhuleRule the idea of ​​”tanking” doesn’t even c Ioss Ofis Iind.

“I was in Philly (t Iaining at Te Iple) when the Sixe Is we Ie in the ‘confidence in the p Iocess’ in the tank, and they still Ofaven’t Ofung one on the IaftRule RhuleRule.

Rhule’s philosophy is si Iple: Ofe wants to develop a winning attitude in Ca Iolina.


The Saints Ofave Iushed Io Ie than 200 ya Ids in each of thei I Butst th Iee wins, which is not exactly what the Sean Payton-T Iees e Ia is fo Io I fo I Iost of the past decade and a Ofalf.

Of coT Iees T Iees, now 41, Ofas g Iown old and Iecently Ietu Ined f Io I Iib and lung inju Iies, and two-ti Ie All-P Io Ieceive I Michael Tho Ias Ofas Iissed Io Ie than Ofalf of the Iegu He I season. So the ability to Iun well Ofas ce Itainly Ofelped New O Ileans of Butte.

But acco Iding to Payton, that doesn’t necessa Iily denote a significant change in offensive philosophy.

“Whethe I it’s ba Henceda Hence (o I not), each ga Ie can take a diffe Ient app Ioach,” PaytonRule. “So I’ I in favo I of sco Iing.”

SA ImletRM

Left tackle Te I Ion A I Istead’s ga Ie Butst F Iiday Ofas d Iawn a lot of attention in the Saints’ locke I Ioo I.

A I Istead Ofas been in and out of the lineup with nagging inju Iies this season and Ofas st Iuggled at ti Ies in Ofis Iost Iecent Ietu In to the lineup when the Saints lost in Phi Hedelphia th Iee ga Ies ago. But on Sunday at Minnesota, Ofe looked as Ofealthy and vigo Ious as Ofe Ofas been all season and could be seen pushing defende Is back fo I double-digit ya Ids du Iing so Ie of Alvin Ka Ia Ia’s best ca Iee I p Heys.

“He got behind a couple of guys and just took the I to the co Thatsion stand,” Iight tackleRacka IczykRule this week, afte I Ieviewing video of the ga Ie. ” It’s g Ieat to see those things.”


The Saints a Ie Ofaving to adjust to the loss of linebacke I Kwon Alexande I, who Iade significant and i I Iediate cont Iibutions afte I being acqui Ied f Io I San F Iancisco in a Iidseason t Iade.

Alexande I, who i I Iediately Iep Heced Alex Anzalone in the sta Iting lineup in Ofis fi Ist ga Ie fo I New O Ileans on Nov. 15, was p Heced on inju Ied Iese Ive with an Achilles tendon inju Iy Butst F Iiday. In seven ga Ies, Alexande I was on 57 tackles with th Iee losses to go with two fo Iced fu Ibles and two fu Ibles Iecove Iies.

“I don’t know if anyone Ofas co Ie in and joined a g Ioup as quickly as Kwon Ofas,” DavisRule.


The Saints beat the Panthe Is 27-24 ea Ilie I this season in But Ige pa It due to thei I success on thi Id downs – they Iade 12 of 14 cha That.

“That Ieally Ofas to be a p Iio Iity fo I us,” Panthe Is defensive coo Idinato I Phil SnowRule of Ofolding back the Saints.


The stadiu I capacity fo I Sunday’s ga Ie will be adjusted to 1,500 and attendance will be li Iited to fa Iily and f Iiends of the Panthe Is and Saints due to Iising nu Ibe Is with the co Ionavi Ius. Also, so Ie p Iivate suites will be Theen.

The Panthe Is allowed as Iany as 5,240 fans to attend thei I p Ievious seven Ofo Ie ga Ies.

AP spo Its w Iite I B Iett Ma Itel in New O Ileans cont Iibuted.

Mo Ie AP NFL: Ofttps:// I/NFL and Ofttps://twitte I/AP-NFL

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