Saints not ruling out top cornerback Lattimore vs Panthers

Saints not ruling out top cornerback Lattimore vs Panthers

Saints not ruling out top cornerback Lattimore vs Panthers

"Right now they're real hard to defend", Rivera said after New Orleans racked up 400 yards of total offense on its way to a 31-21 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Accordingly, the Saints also check in first in offensive DVOA.

Six games decided by 21 or more points. They've been slightly vulnerable to the edges of the formation, however, which plays into the Saints' stretch-heavy running game and could particularly bode well for Kamara, who has the speed to beat any player to the edge.

A few weeks back, we used this space to write about one of the most surprising developments of the 2017 season: the New Orleans Saints winning games on the strength of a suddenly dominant defense.

Kamara finished with 126 yards from scrimmage, capping his day with a serpentine, 22-yard gain on a third-and-10 screen pass at the 2-minute warning.

The Panthers know they must play better than they did against the Saints, and the good news is they know they can. Armstead left last week's game with thigh and shoulder injuries. Heading into Week 13, the Saints - who have ranked in the bottom two in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA for three years running - have the No. 10 defense in football.

Carolina - and the circumstances of the game - were far from flawless. They don't have the protection to give receivers a long time to get open. "That's a dynamic duo", says Panther linebacker Shaq Thompson. New Orleans scored on a two yard run by Kamara on fourth down on the first possession of the game.

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The Panthers needed some breaks, but more often than not, things broke against them.

The Saints found themselves in a pretty tense situation this week - coming off of their first loss in nine games at the; needing a win badly over Carolina to keep from falling behind in the NFC South; playing without top cornerback, left tackle and starting rookie safety.

They both credited their blocking help, as well - including tight end 's assist on Kamara's fourth-down TD run and a huge push from center on Ingram's fight for a third-down conversion later in the game. The Saints feature a former Panther at outside linebacker in A.J. Klein; he's second on the team in tackles.

It took confusion by New Orleans before the snap and a busted coverage for him to get a 21-yard touchdown catch in the first half. Five plays later, it was 28-14. The first down allowed New Orleans to run out the clock.

The Panthers are only a game ahead of the Falcons with a game at Atlanta in the regular-season finale that could be pivotal.

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