Brees, Saints advance by shutting down Panthers late

14 January, 2018, 12:50 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • NFL playoffs: Titans-Chiefs, Falcons-Rams kick off wild-card weekend

Send a message to them and every other team that keeping a player's brain intact matters more than anything.

"I still think this is a team that is in its window to compete at the highest level and win this thing", Olsen said. We wanted it more.

But Brees couldn't find an open receiver, was flushed out of the pocket and decided his best option was to throw it up for grabs.

That's no way for the Panthers' season to end, for their playoff game to end, or for another year of Newton's career to end.

On two of Carolina's final three plays the Saints dialed up the heat and forced Cam Newton into an intentional grounding and then Vonn Bell sacked Newton on a blitz to seal the win.

"I can tell you this: That game didn't come down to that play", Newton said. "I thought somebody stuck their finger in my eye, but I've got my visor, so that couldn't happen".

"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. Even if Carolina is not guilty of putting Cam Newton back in the game before he was properly examined, the National Football League has created an atmosphere where fans have no reason to trust that teams are being honest and thorough in their treatment of players.

Later in the year, Newton said, "I didn't know he was a fan of my dress code". Your team is almost blowing a huge lead at home after a fantastic regular season. Remarkable. I'd like to nominate Ted Ginn Jr. and Josh Hill for the 'Unlikeliest Saints Playoff Heroes Hall of Fame.' Guys like Brian Milne, Willie Jackson, and Robert Wilson are founding members. The offense struggled early in the second half, especially the run game, settling for a 57-yard Wil Lutz field goal before rookie Alvin Kamara scored on a 2-yard run with 5:08 to play.

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"What we've shown offensively is we have a lot of ways to be effective", Brees said, mentioning clutch first-down catches by Brandon Coleman and Willie Snead in addition to the big plays by Ginn and Thomas. "The ball was spread out quite a bit, but guys were making plays when they had the chances". He also rushed eight times for 37 yards. Of course, the Panthers traded away his best friend and go-to receiver in mid-season.

It didn't work. Brees threw an interception, and the Panthers drove toward a possible game-winning touchdown.

Gano hit field goals of 29 and 58 yards but Wil Lutz answered for the Saints with a 57-yard field goal to put the hosts ahead 24-12.

From his perspective, without the red zone shortcomings, one call wouldn't have carried so much weight. Jordan said. "Look, he like spun". "They came back late in the fourth quarter, made this a game".

The Panthers quarterback was on the receiving end of a thunderous hit by defensive tackle David Onyemata.

Cam Newton was hardly the first player failed by the NFL. Coach Ron Rivera wants Peppers back for another season, and Peppers hasn't shut the door on a return, but there are no guarantees.

The league office may have to weigh in (again) on how fast Newton cleared concussion protocol after that aforementioned pancake hit.

This isn't the first time the Panthers have been investigated for how it has handled the protocol. Now they're on to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs after holding off Carolina (11-6), 31-26 on Sunday.



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