New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers: 3 key matchups

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers: 3 key matchups

They'll also need their running backs to be fired up and ready to hit their lanes hard. He's listed as questionable Sunday due to a thigh injury, but if he's good to go, the Saints run game could be even better.

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If the Panthers hope to win, they must find a way to limit not only Kamara but the entire rushing attack orchestrated by coach Sean Payton and the Saints.

The third-round pick from Tennessee has been a matchup problem for just about every team hehas faced, including the Panthers. You can become a subscriber here. Not that Stewart would have saved the Panthers, but he would have allowed Mike Shula try to get the run game going, control time of possession and keep the defense fresh.

Add in his 826 receiving yards on 81 receptions and 13 total touchdowns, and it's easy to see why he leads the race for offensive rookie of the year.

McCaffrey's influence has been in the passing game and he leads the team with 80 receptions, second in yards on 651. Now, two of them will collide for the third time of the season. New Orleans captured its first win of the year in Carolina on September 24 and then secured a 31-21 home victory in Week 13.

Marshon Lattimore has emerged as a first-class safety for the New Orleans Saints.

New Orleans is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games against the Panthers per the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Panthers are unquestionably the most battle-tested team in the NFC playoffs with a roster consisting of players who have participated in 187 career postseason games.