Monday, December 17 at 8:15 PM ET
Bank of America Stadium
Winds from the NNW 5 mph
Gusts: 7 mph
The New Orleans Saints try to secure the best record in the NFC when they visit the struggling Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football.
Saints get payback against Buccaneers
The New Orleans Saints clinched the NFC South with last Sunday's 28-14 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints trailed 14-3 at halftime but they outscored the Buccaneers 25-0 in the second half to secure their 11th win and get some payback for a Week 1 loss in New Orleans.
Drew Brees completed 24 of 31 passes for 201 yards, one touchdown and one interception and he also ran for a TD. Brees now has four rushing touchdowns this season, the most in a single season by a player age 39 or older.
The Saints are averaging 263.7 passing yards (11th in the NFL) and 125.3 rushing yards (9th). New Orleans ranks 2nd with 34.4 points per game and 10th with 21.8 points against.
Drew Brees has passed for 3,463 yards, 31 touchdowns and four interceptions, Alvin Kamara has 793 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 173 carries and Michael Thomas has 102 receptions for 1,218 yards and eight touchdowns. Demario Davis has 95 tackles and Cameron Jordan has 12 sacks.
Panthers in free fall
The Carolina Panthers have lost their last five games, compromising their chances to make the playoffs. Carolina suffered a disappointing 26-20 road loss against Cleveland last Sunday, when Cam Newton was outplayed by Baker Mayfield. Newton completed 26 of 42 passes for 265 yards but he overthrew Jarius Wright on fourth-and-goal on the 3-yard line with 2:34 to play and later was intercepted by Damarious Randall with 57 seconds left.
The Panthers are averaging 240.7 passing yards (15th in the NFL) and 137.4 rushing yards (2nd). Carolina ranks 11th with 24.9 points per game and 24th with 25.5 points against.
Cam Newton has passed for 3,264 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, Christian McCaffrey has 926 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 179 carries and 86 receptions for 701 yards and six touchdowns. Luke Kuechly has 111 tackles and Mario Addison has eight sacks.
The New Orleans Saints are:
2-5 ATS in their last seven Monday games
The Carolina Panthers are:
8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 15
8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games
5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record
The Saints put up just 474 total yards in their last two games combined and they're facing a Panthers team desperate to save their season. Carolina is allowing 30.4 points in their last four games, forcing just three turnovers after forcing 15 in their first eight contests.
Including the playoffs, these two teams met three times last season and the Saints won those games by an average of 12 points. I don't see the Panthers beating the Saints but they will fight hard to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
NFL Pick: Panthers +6.5 (-120) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA