Carolina enters Sunday's game at New Orleans having lost both previous regular season matchups to the Saints (11-5) by a combined 31 points. And that's due to their backfield.
Stand out rookie running back Alvin Kamara had just two carries in the first meeting with Carolina this season.
And then, of course, there's Drew Brees. Even though he is 38 and playing a reduced role, he is as important to the Saints as ever. The tight didn't play in either of the Panthers' losses to the Saints this season after breaking his foot in Week 2. Much like Newton, Brees will throw interceptions under duress. And 13 of those won for a.650 winning percentage.
Brees said his two days in Texas was "obviously very sad" at times, but stressed that he "really came back energized". "He knows how to set you up on routes, how he can extend his routes and how he can get open".
The confidence was the big thing.
An early dagger, courtesy of Ted Ginn Jr. The Saints are one of the better rushing teams in the league and they averaged five yards per pop in their two meetings and how will the Panthers step up?
If Carolina quarterback Cam Newton doesn't don his cape and play like a superhero in Sunday's NFC wildcard game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the Black and Gold likely will complete the rare trifecta and advance to the divisional round. And it's a role they are embracing.
Chelsea boss Conte 'disappointed' after Norwich stalemate
It's a pity because we wanted to win the game, instead we have to play another game'. "Norwich deserve to have another game". Chelsea must now turn their attention to their EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal on Wednesday.
To his considerable credit, longtime head coach Ron Rivera was largely able to navigate through the controversy, leading the team to three victories in their final four games before dropping a meaningless Week 17 contest to Atlanta.
"That's our plan. We just have to go out and execute". A lot of people didn't have us picked (to be) here anyway. If you have any questions or comments, make them during the program and we will try to use them.
If you don't want to sign up for Sky, you can watch the playoffs on NowTV with their Sky Sports pass starting from £6.99. Coupled with extensive pressure on Brees from the Panthers front four, it's possible they could alter the dynamic and keep the game low scoring into the fourth quarter.
The truth is, either one of these teams could have a championship in their immediate horizon.
Lost in how poorly the Panthers offense played at Atlanta was the absence of Jonathan Stewart, who sat out with back tightness.
The Panthers' lone lead in the two regular season games came courtesy of a field goal at the start of the Week 3 matchup.
But before looking too far ahead, first they have to get past each other.