Week 13 sees the New Orleans Saints facing off against their NFC South Division rivals, the Carolina Panthers, at the confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. Both 8-3 squads look to pick up a very important win, and should be an entertaining battle. Dating back to the 2011 season, the winner in New Orleans has scored more than 31 points in each of the six contests, which are split 3-3. Here’s some of the biggest things you may or may not have missed this week with the black and gold.
- The Saints will be without Marcus Williams and Coby Fleener, while Marshon Lattimore, Terron Armstead, and P.J. Williams are all questionable. The Panthers will be without Charles Johnson, who was suspended by the league for 4 games after a PED violation.
- Entering Sunday, the Saints are No. 4 in the NFC Playoff Picture.
- Blake Countess was fined $24,309 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Fleener in Week 12.
- Sean Payton confirmed on Friday that Zach Strief won’t be brought back from injured reserved this season, and it doesn’t appear that there are any other injured players the Saints are considering back. Alex Anzalone obviously comes to mind, but it seems like a long shot.
- Arthur Maulet tweeted out on Friday that he’s been activated, which has been since confirmed my multiple outlets. However, no official and corresponding moves have been announced.
- Justin Hardee joined Rev on Who Dat Confessional this week, and explained what Boonk Gang meant for those who’ve been asking, among other things.
- Alvin Kamara continues his dominate all the awards tour this season, as he took down Ground Player of the Week and a fourth consecutive Rookie of the Week award. He was also the NFC Offensive Player of November. Meanwhile, Cameron Jordan was NFC Defensive Player of November.
- Bryce Harris came back again. He’s officially the new Khalif Barnes, or Andy Tanner.
John DeShazier: Saints receiver Ted Ginn Jr. on pace to have best season of his career
Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. is on pace to have the best statistical season of his 11-year career. Ginn has 42 catches for 641 yards and three touchdowns. He had a career-high 54 catches for 752 yards last year for Carolina and two years ago, also with the Panthers, he caught 44 passes for 739 yards.
Cat Scratch Reader put something out on how the Panthers offense misses Ted Ginn Jr.’s speed. It’d be something if Ginn becomes a 1,000-yard receiver for the Saints over the final five games. Remember David Patten?
From ESPN’s David Newton: Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he will remind the officials of New Orleans using a quick count offensively on Sunday. He turned the Saints' third offensive play of their Week 3 meeting into the league because he felt New Orleans didn't get set and that was missed.
Some things never change. The Saints have been caught for this a couple of times. John Hussey is the referee on Sunday. He officiated the Rams-Saints game from last season, for what that’s worth.
Alvin Kamara's 'Matrix' mode: How Saints' elusive RB became one of NFL's toughest to tackle | theadvocate.com
“It’s really just trying to stay one step ahead, and trying to angle guys and what type of player they are. If I can beat this guy to the edge, I’m going to stall him out a little bit and then kick it into full gear,” Kamara said. “If this guy dives and angles, I’m going to look him off with my eyes and make him flip his hips and take advantage of that. It’s some film study that goes into it. A lot of it is instinctual.”
To me, Alvin Kamara is a perfect blend of Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, and Pierre Thomas. The Bush and Thomas comparisons are probably easier to see, but the toughness and elusiveness Kamara shows is what reminds me most of McAllister.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will have the call on FOX. Gotta laugh at that green patch in St. Louis that is forced to watch the Rams.
With 54 rush yards and 52 receiving yards on Sunday, @Saints RB @A_kamara6 will become the 3rd rookie in NFL history to record 600+ rush yards and 600+ receiving yards in a season— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 2, 2017
The other two, Billy Sims (1980) and Charley Taylor (1964), won AP Rookie of the Year#GoSaints
That’s pretty good company for Kamara.