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Saints aim to preserve playoff hopes vs. Panthers

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Butch Dill - Freelancer

By The Associated Press

CAROLINA (5-10) at NEW ORLEANS (7-8)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
BETTING LINE: Saints by 6½, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Panthers 5-10; Saints 7-8.
SERIES RECORD: Saints lead 28-26.
LAST MEETING: Panthers beat Saints 26-7 on Sept. 19, 2021, at Carolina.
LAST WEEK: Panthers lost to Buccaneers 32-6; Saints lost to Dolphins 20-3.

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Panthers minus-9; Saints plus-2.
PANTHERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Sam Darnold threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns with a QB rating of 99.1 in the last meeting in Week 2. Darnold missed five games with a shoulder injury but returned last week to split reps with Cam Newton. The Panthers have more than $18 million invested in Darnold next season, so they want to take another look before making any decision about their future at quarterback. ...

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'I just gotta go out there and play': New Orleans Saints rookie QB Ian Book ready for NFL debut

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity. … I’m gonna be pretty buzzed, yeah.” Book said. “I don’t know what it’s gonna feel like. I’ve played in big games, but I think this is the biggest, obviously. This is Monday Night Football. I grew up watching prime-time football since I was a little kid. It’s a dream.”

But just as quickly, Book insisted that neither he, nor the Saints (7-7), will let the moment overwhelm them.

As of Sunday night, the Saints have a total of 16 players from their 53-man roster on the reserve/COVID-19 list, in addition to three practice squad players, one suspended player and four assistant coaches sidelined by COVID-19. This is the latest in a season-long series of hurdles that have New Orleans’ playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.

“There’s a million excuses out there, is what I’d say, and we’re gonna use none of them,” Book said. “Because we’ve gotta go out there and play. We’re all professionals, and when your name is called, you’ve gotta go out there and perform.”

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Latest Saints News

Grading the Saints 2021 Performance at Cornerback

  • News source: Bob Rose
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 0
The New Orleans Saints entered the 2021 offseason with a major need at cornerback. New Orleans had ranked fifth in pass defense and led the league in interceptions during the 2020 season. However, the Saints released veteran CB Janoris Jenkins in a cost cutting move, leaving a big void at the position.

New Orleans bypassed the spot in free agency, not surprising for a team with little salary cap space. To the dismay of many, the Saints also ignored several top-rated corners in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. They finally addressed the position in the third round, trading up to...
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Stay or go: Predicting the top Saints unrestricted free agents in 2022

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 11
There’s another challenging offseason ahead for the New Orleans Saints. They’ve got to shed tens of millions of negative salary cap space again, and then start to work on re-signing some of their pending free agents. And they’ve got a crop of unrestricted free agents-to-be who are headed for the open market, which brings more hurdles than the restricted and exclusive-rights free agents New Orleans must deal with (check here for the full list of expiring contracts).

Obviously some of these unrestricted free agents are more high-profile than others. Entrenched starters like Terron Armstead...
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The usual Friday suspects make their picks with Jim Derry on ‘Dattitude,’ Ep. 48

  • News source: BY JIM DERRY | Sports betting writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 20
Some like opening weekend of the NFL. Some like the second weekend of college bowl season. Some like the NFL wild-card round. For Jim Derry, this is the best football weekend of the year.

And the Friday Dattitude crew is ready to offer their top picks of the weekend. Dave “D-Squared” Ducorbier and Jim spend time going through the games in detail, while Uncle Big Nick had to mail his picks in, as he dealing with the frigid funk.

If you’re interested in certain topics, we list times below in the podcast to jump around.

To listen, simply click on the SoundCloud player below and please...
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Dennis Allen to Interview for Bears Head Coach Opening

  • News source: John Hendrix
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 23
It's taken a little longer than expected, but another team is interested in one of the coaching staples for the Saints. According to a Thursday night report from NewOrleans.Football's Nick Underhill, the Chicago Bears are expected to interview defensive coordinator Dennis Allen next week for their open head coaching position.

Just 10 days ago, the Bears put in a request to interview Jeff Ireland for their GM spot. It would be interesting if Chicago could pull off a package deal to get two important Saints to help rebuild their team. Allen has certainly put together an impressive resume to...
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Bears head coach search adds Saints DC Dennis Allen to list of candidates

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 57
There we go: NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill first reported that the Chicago Bears have scheduled an interview with Dennis Allen for their vacant head coaching job next week, adding the New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator to their list of candidates.

Allen has put together some outstanding defenses with the Saints in recent years and it was only a matter of time until he started getting more looks as a potential head coach. Here’s what I wrote of him earlier this offseason in previewing potential Saints losses on the coaching staff and front office:

Losing Allen would hurt, but...
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Saints defensive line had plenty of moving parts in 2021, but late cohesion boosted production

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 57
The 2021 season saw plenty of faces rotate in and out for the New Orleans Saints defensive line, especially early.

Between a lengthy suspension for one and injuries to several others, the Saints essentially played musical chairs at defensive line, but several in the group came on strong late in the season.

Here is a look at who is and is not under contract for the 2022 season, a quick look back at what transpired in 2021 and a view into the future of what the position may hold.

There was a sour note before the season began after defensive tackle David Onyemata was hit with a six-game...
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2022 opponents for NFL teams announced

  • News source: Press Release
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 28
A complete list of home and away matchups for the 2022 regular season was issued Thursday by the NFL.

Each team will play 17 regular-season games (and three preseason games) as follows:

• Home and away against its three division opponents (six games). • The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating, three-year cycle (four games). • The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating, four-year cycle (four games). • Two intraconference opponents based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the...
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Start of NFL playoffs offers perspective on Saints

  • News source: Les East
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 53
The start of the NFL playoffs provided perspective on the New Orleans Saints.

On the one hand, the performance of a few teams demonstrated that the Saints were a playoff-caliber team even though their 9-8 record left them just on the outside looking in. We’re looking at you Eagles, Steelers, Cardinals and Patriots.

On the other hand, the performances of those teams showed that the NFL doesn’t have 14 teams worthy of competing in a championship tournament. The Eagles lost to the Buccaneers by 16 points, the Steelers lost to the Chiefs by 21 points, the Cardinals lost to the Rams by 23...
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Louisiana woman accused of defrauding retired NFL players’ healthcare fund

  • News source: Curtis Crabtree
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 55
Toni Charles, a Louisiana woman who had a child with former NFL defensive lineman Norman Hand, has been accused of defrauding a healthcare fund for retired NFL players and their dependents.

According to the Associated Press, Charles is accused of submitting false claims to the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Reimbursement Account Plan on behalf of Hand’s son to the tune of nearly $60,000.

Charles was arrested on charges of theft of more than $25,000 and forgery. The Upshaw fund allegedly reimbursed Charles for false claims submitted on behalf of their son in 2018.

Hand played 10 years in the NFL...
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Report: Bears to interview Dennis Allen for head coach

  • News source: Curtis Crabtree
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 57
The Chicago Bears will interview New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen for their head coach opening next week, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.

The Bears are the first team to express interest in Allen this coaching cycle. The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Allen for their open position last year before hiring Nick Sirianni. Allen spent three years as head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2012-14. He joined the Saints as a defensive assistant in 2015 before taking over the coordinator role beginning in 2016.

After ranking last in the league in points...
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Jeff Duncan: The 49ers are poised and built to upset the Packers at Lambeau Field

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  • Views: 53
Lost in the controversy about the Dallas Cowboys’ wild card loss last week is this potential consideration: Maybe, just maybe the San Francisco 49ers are good. Like really good.

This is a team that has now won five of its last six games, with its lone loss coming on a last-second field goal to the Titans in Tennessee, a team that just happens to be the top playoff seed in the AFC. In that span, the 49ers have beaten the Bengals, Rams and, now, the Cowboys on the road.

Instead of debating Mike McCarthy’s coaching decisions and job security maybe more folks should notice the team on the...
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Rams-Saints fiasco still lingers, three years ago

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 142
For all the blunders that NFL officiating has provided in recent years, none was more notorious and inexcusable than the one that occurred three years ago today, in New Orleans. Making matters worse was the clumsy and ineffective way in which the NFL handled the aftermath of a bad call that sent the wrong team to the Super Bowl.

The NFC Championship was tied at 20. The fourth-quarter clock showed one minute, 49 seconds. The Saints had the ball on the Rams’ 13, facing third and 10.

Just before the snap, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman realized he was badly out of position. He sprinted...
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Which former Saints players, coaches are competing in the playoffs divisional round?

  • News source: John Sigler
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 58
Need a rooting interest to keep up with the NFL playoffs? The New Orleans Saints have some connections with nearly every team playing in the divisional round this weekend, though those ties are greater with some outfits — like the Cincinnati Bengals — than others. That’s already prompted some Saints fans to throw their support behind hometown heroes. Let’s survey each remaining playoff team and their links to the Saints and Louisiana:
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Derry’s NFL Playoff Picks, Divisional Round: Titans end Bengals dream; Rams upset Bucs

  • News source: BY JIM DERRY | Sports betting writer
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 62
* Spreads and prop bet lines were gathered from Caesars Sportsbook Louisiana, which is the official odds partner of, as of Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Picks are in order by conference, then when scheduled to be played:

(4) CINCINNATI (11-7, W1, 11-6-1 ATS) at (1) TENNESSEE (12-5, W3, 10-7 ATS), Saturday at 3 p.m. CBS

STRAIGHT UP: Titans. AGAINST THE SPREAD: Titans (-3.5 only if I have to on game day, but I would buy the hook at -3 for -120 or -125). UNDER 47.

Previous meeting this season: Did not play this season. The last time these two teams faced off, the Bengals won, 31-20, on...
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Michael Thomas is the Key to Saints Offensive Resurgence in 2022

  • News source: Bob Rose
  • Replies: 1
  • Views: 138
The New Orleans Saints used a second-round draft choice, the 47th overall pick, on Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas in the 2016 NFL Draft. New Orleans expected a consistent possession receiver who would complement the explosive Brandin Cooks.

What the Saints got was a rare offensive weapon that would dominate the league.

Thomas improved his production and set NFL records during his first four seasons with New Orleans. Included was the 149 receptions in 2019, and breaking Marvin Harrison's 17-year most receptions in a season NFL record.

The former Buckeye quickly became a...
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Sean Payton Gossip Ain't Worth the Hype

  • News source: Kyle T. Mosley
  • Replies: 0
  • Views: 112
The rampant rumors of New Orleans' head coach leaving the team are what offseasons are made of in today's NFL.

"My job is to call attention to the things that I think are the difference between winning and losing. If I can't do that, then I have failed as a coach," said Bill Parcells

A quote from Sean Payton's mentor. Has Payton gotten to the point that he cannot recognize "the difference between winning and losing" in New Orleans? Let's examine.

The stench of "Sean Payton's Leaving" rumors that have been swirling around the NFL is worst than the smell of a rotting nutria rat in the...
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