Panthers facing questions about Cam Newton's quick return

Linebacker Shaq Thompson and the rest of the Panthers defense are looking for some redemption against the Saints in their third meeting this season

Panthers must contain dangerous Saints after the catch

"You just got to go out and play football", Ginn said. "I'm not going to take the cowardly way and point somebody else out".

Newton was flagged when he avoided defensive end Cam Jordan's rush by throwing the ball out of bounds, turning what would have been a second-and-10 into a third-and-23.

Battered and bruised, depleted by injury, the New Orleans Saints defense was far from its best against Cam Newton and a Carolina passing offense that had struggled for most of the season. "I made a play on the last one, the one that counts". Panthers kicker Graham Gano missed a 25-yard chip shot but did boot a pair of short field goals and a 58-yarder as the Saints held a 21-9 halftime lead. The Panthers stuck with their plan to establish the running game, the reason they had a almost nine-minute edge in possession time in the first half.

Who knew it would be a former Panther to make the biggest play of the first half. "The ball was spread around quite a bit and guys were making plays when they had the chances". That was in the first quarter, after the Panthers had driven all the way from their own 30-yard line to the Saints 7.

"We start this time of year, and everyone is starting from scratch", he said.

"You feel all the energy and the intensity of the games and the crowd", All-American Pub employee Sarah Smart said.

Since Jake McQuaide played long snapper for the Rams in their 26-13 defeat at the hands of the Falcons, the only game which did not feature a former Buckeye was the Titans 22-21 victory over the Chiefs. But the Panthers stalled four times inside the New Orleans 25 in the first three quarters. But they sprinted to a lead while their defense limited the fifth-seeded Panthers to field goals instead of touchdowns until the fourth quarter.

Newton wound up completing 24 of 40 passes for 349 yards. Sure-handed and versatile, Thomas had numerous huge catches and ended up with a game-high 131 yards receiving. Newton was very good during his 335-yard, two-touchdown performance in the 49-15 rout of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2016 NFC Championship game, but he has completed just 59.7 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and seven interceptions in six playoff games.

Yet, unlike in the regular season, the Panthers" "D' did a number on Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, who combined for just 68 yards from scrimmage, a little more than one-third of their regular-season average.

After evading pressure by Tyeler Davison, Newton was blasted by Onyemata, who had a free run at the quarterback as Newton was attempting to regain his balance.

Newton walked toward the Panthers' sideline and sat down before getting to the bench area.

Ron Rivera was visibly upset at the call, understandably so.

Panthers: Cornerback Daryl Worley briefly was placed in the concussion protocol but also cleared to return during the game. They did suffer a loss to the offensive line that safeguards Brees when guard Andrus Peat was taken from the field on a cart, reportedly after suffering a fractured fibula.

Panthers: Begin the offseason after their fourth trip to the playoffs in five years lasted on game.

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