No rest for the weary, as Carolina holds NFC South destiny in their hands
Panthers Already Preparing for Rematch with Saints
By Mike Leslie, Sports Anchor/Digital Journalist - email
Charlotte, NC -
The Carolina Panthers control their own destiny. Wins in each of their last two games will give the Panthers the NFC South Division Championship, and the number 2 seed in the NFC Playoffs.
That's thanks to a 30-20 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, coupled with the New Orleans Saints loss in St. Louis.
Both teams are now 10-4 on the year, heading into their rematch on Sunday December 22nd, at Bank of America Stadium.
The Saints won the first matchup, roasting the Panthers secondary en route to a 31-13 victory at the Superdome. But now, as the Panthers prepare to play host to the Saints, the Panthers are acknowledging that New Orleans isn't the same team on the road that they are at home.
"You know at the dome, they're hard to beat," Mike Tolbert said Sunday, after the Panthers win against the Jets. "You know, but here, they're on our turf, so we're gonna have to see what kind of game plan they come up with."
"It's always a big game when we play the Saints," Panthers wideout Brandon LaFell added. "I think they lost [Sunday]. The NFC South is gonna come through here."
The Panthers also recognize the difference it makes to be at home, themselves.
"I mean, shoot, we're 6-1 right now," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said on Sunday. "I'm pretty excited about that. We've been able to defend home court pretty well."
"It's going to be a great atmosphere," Tolbert added. "You know, it's going to be a playoff atmosphere. And you know, the crowd was very, very loud today, so I can only imagine how loud they're gonna be next week."
The game between the Panthers and Saints can be seen on Fox46 Carolinas. Fox NFL Sunday gets everything started at 12 o'clock, and then kickoff (as scheduled right now) will be at 1 p.m. Catch it all on Fox46 Carolinas.
WJZY FOX 46 3501 Performance Rd. Charlotte, NC 28214 Main Number: (704) 398-0046