The New Orleans Saints (1-3) will return to NFC South play this week by hosting the Carolina Panthers (1-4). The Saints will be coming off of a Week Four bye after breaking their three-game losing streak to start the season by defeating the San Diego Chargers 35-34 in a dramatic comefrom-behind victory on October 2.
New Orleans enters the contest after having snapped a three-game losing streak against San Diego, coming back from a 34-21 deficit with only 6:50 remaining in the contest. New Orleans recovered three turnovers in that final stretch, resulting in 14 points, including the go-ahead one-yard touchdown run by FB John Kuhn with 1:57 remaining. While QB Drew Brees threw two interceptions, he played error-free football in leading New Orleans on the two fourth quarter drives for touchdowns in his return to Qualcomm Stadium, the facility he called home from 2001- 05 as a member of the Chargers.
The New Orleans running back corps accounted for four of New Orleans’ five touchdowns on the day against the Chargers. Kuhn scored three touchdowns for the second time in his 11-year career, the first three-score performance by a Saint since 2012. Mark Ingram rushed for 57 yards on 18 attempts and caught a team-high six balls for a club-best 48 yards. He moved into the top five on the team’s all-time list in both rushing yards and rushing TDs. Defensively, the Saints had several standout performances, especially in the latter half of the fourth quarter. DT Nick Fairley and DE Cameron Jordan combined for 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. One of Fairley’s takedowns occurred on San Diego’s last offensive drive of the contest, while Jordan’s dropping of Chargers QB Philip Rivers moved the Chargers outside the 10-yard line and forced them to kick a field goal that kept their lead at 13 points and made a Saints comeback more manageable. LB Nate Stupar and DE Darryl Tapp recovered the fourth quarter fumbles that resulted in 14 New Orleans points and CB B.W. Webb recorded the interception with 1:10 remaining that extinguished San Diego’s comeback hopes. It was his second-career interception.
Following the Week Five bye which allowed several play ers to recover and rehab from injuries, New Orleans resumes their October slate having amassed a 20-9 record in the month since 2009, including a 10-1 mark at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The matchup will be the first of the 2016 series with the Super Bowl 50 finalists, with the rubber match taking place at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Thursday, November 17. Since 2006, the Saints own an 18-12 record against NFC South opponents at home.
2016 NEW ORLEANS-CAROLINA STATISTICAL COMPARISON
Record 1-3 1-4
Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank) 28.5 (4) 24.6 (11)
Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank) 32.5 (32) 27.0 (22)
Total Off. (NFL Rank) 386.0 (6) 392.0 (3)
Rushing Off. (NFL Rank) 81.4 (29) 124.6 (6)
Passing Off. (NFL Rank) 304.3 (2) 267.4 (10)
Total Def. (NFL Rank) 422.8 (31) 341.2 (12)
Rushing Def. (NFL Rank) 121.5 (26) 94.8 (10)
Passing Def. (NFL Rank) 301.3 (29) 246.4 (15)
Kickoff Return Avg. (NFL Rank) 17.7 (26) 22.4 (10)
Punt Return Avg. (NFL Rank) 7.1 (28t) 5.6 (31)
Turnover Margin (NFL Rank) +1 (13t) -7 (29t)
Penalties 25 39
Penalty Yards 238 330
Opp. Penalties 26 29
Opp. Penalty Yards 247 231