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Armchair Quarterback: Saints vs Panthers

New Orleans won a game where they couldn’t afford to lose.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints picked up a much-needed win at home on Sunday, taking down the 1-11 Carolina Panthers 28-6 inside the Caesars Superdome.

From two touchdowns in 90 seconds to a special teams score, this game had a little bit of everything. Let’s take a look at some of the key components:

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kamara was critical again

The Saints running back didn’t pop off the stat sheet in this game, finishing with negative yards in the passing attack, but it’s what he’s always done that has been special. Kamara is one of the best at distracting defenders from the true ball carrier, or being a decoy. There were multiple instances where the defense had to account for 41, which freed up another Saints skill player to make a player. The running back from Atlanta did finish with 56 yards and a score in the win over Carolina, but he was influential away from the box score as well.

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Welcome to the league, D’Marco Jackson

The second-year linebacker had a big moment in special teams on Sunday after Nephi Sewell blocked a punt from Johnny Heker. Jackson scooped the football up and stumbled into the endzone to give the Saints a 14-3 lead and score his first NFL touchdown. As a defensive player, you typically don’t get many, so the former App State star who once was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference will cherish this moment for a long time.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

DA is safe... for now

With the win at home over a division rival, the Saints have kept their head coach for the time being. However, a 13-17 record as head coach doesn’t bode well for a long-term future with the Black and Gold. Looking ahead to the remaining schedule, the red-hot New York Giants come into town this Sunday before a quick turnaround to Hollywood where the Rams await on Thursday Night Football. Then, two division matchups to close the season, first at Tampa Bay and then home against Atlanta in the finale. If the Saints don’t finish 2023 with a winning record, I think the franchise will have no other option but to mave on from Allen and start rebuilding for the future. Otherwise, the brown paper bags may return to the Superdome.


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