The Panthers enter their 20th game in New Orleans with a record of 10-9 but have only one of those games in their last five tries. The last three games, two of them losses, have not been particularly close with the Panthers losing by 18 last year and 28 in 2011. The 16 games before that though were much closer with only five of those games being decided by more than 10 points.
Last year the Panthers finished the year on an 11-1 run with the only loss coming in New Orleans in Week 14. Saints quarterback Drew Brees put on a show throwing for 313 yards and four touchdowns with Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham each catching two touchdowns.
On the other side, Cam Newton struggled and had a stat line that has been all too common this year finishing the game 22 of 34 for 160 yards, one touchdown and was sacked five times.
Now, it would be unrealistic to predict the outcome of this game based on games played over ten years ago. The game five weeks ago between these two teams wouldn’t even be a good predictor of the outcome since a lot has changed in just that short period of time.
The biggest change will be in the secondary as the Panthers will have rookies Bene Benwikere and Tre Boston expected to see significant playing time. Boston’s first career start came in Week 9 against the Saints but this will be Benwikere’s first time facing off against the Saints. The two rookies are sure to be challenged and will be a tough test for them.
The other notable change will come along at the offensive line as the team will have three different starters from the first meeting. Carolina will have new tackles with Byron Bell at left and Mike Remmers at right. Next to Remmers will be Trai Turner who missed Week 9 with an injury.
The hope will be that all these changes are for the positive and will give Carolina a chance to win in New Orleans for only the second time in six years.