By Mike Leslie, Sports Anchor/Digital Journalist - email
The Carolina Panthers need to slow down Drew Brees. There's no two ways about it.
Saying that is easy. Doing it, on the other hand -- much more difficult.
Brees threw for 313 yards and 4 touchdowns in the first meeting between the Panthers and the New Orleans Saints. He completed 30-42 passes. He was surgical.
If the Panthers are to win on Sunday, they need to hold Brees and the Saints passing offense under wraps.
"The last time we played them, we got away from doing our jobs," Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly said on Thursday. "We blew some coverages, we weren't playing sound."
"I just need to get my hands on him," Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy added. That was something the Panthers did not do much of in Week 14. "We've gotta get some push on the pocket. Get our hands up, delay the pass, and get some push up the middle."
One possible slow down for the Saints offense, is the Panthers offense. The Panthers hope their ground game could eat up some clock on Sunday, keeping the ball out of Brees' hands.
Kickoff is at 1 o'clock on Sunday, at Bank of America Stadium. A win for the Panthers gives Carolina a chance to win the NFC South, with a win or a Saints loss in Week 17. A Saints win clinches the division and a top-2 seed for the Saints.
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