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Panthers vs. Saints Week 17 Highlights | NFL 2018

7 takeaways from the Saints' 33-14 loss to the Panthers

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By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The Carolina Panthers defeated a makeshift New Orleans Saints team 33-14 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday (Dec. 30).

The loss dropped the Saints' record to 13-3 and prevented them from securing the best regular-season record in club history. The Saints also went 13-3 in 2009 and 2011.

On the bright side, the loss means the Saints lost to the same three teams this season as they did when they won the Super Bowl in 2009: Carolina; Dallas; and Tampa Bay.

A look at my takeaways from the game:

1. The defensive performance was ugly

Yes, it was nothing more than a glorified exhibition game but the Saints starting defense played the entire first half and its performance left a lot to be desired. Panthers third-string quarterback Kyle Allen drove Carolina to three touchdowns and a field goal in four first-half series, taking a commanding 23-0 lead at halftime. The Panthers outgained the Saints 251-95 in total yards and 20-6 first downs in the first half. The defensive unit is certainly not going to enjoy reviewing the game tape of this one, assuming they actually watch it. It was an ugly effort by any standards, even if the Saints were simply going through the motions. ...

Saints WR Michael Thomas breaks Joe Horn's franchise record for receiving yards in a single season

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

Eight weeks ago, Michael Thomas paid tribute to former Saints receiver Joe Horn with a cell phone touchdown celebration against the Los Angeles Rams like the one Horn did in 2003.

On Sunday, Thomas passed Horn in the Saints record books.

With his 6-yard reception in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers, Thomas set the Saints' single season record for yards receiving in a season.

Thomas came into the game with 1,376 yards, just 23 yards shy of Horn's 1,399 yards in 2004.

Horn attended Sunday's game. ...

Full Story - The Advocate

Joe Horn reflects on Michael Thomas breaking his Saints single-season receiving yards mark

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By Nathan Brown | The Advocate

Back in November when Michael Thomas paid homage to legendary Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, replicating his famous touchdown celebration by pulling a cellphone out of the bottom of the goal post, the retired wideout responded with equal appreciation.

Horn bought Thomas’ white Color Rush jersey, saying he’d wear it to any Saints events down the line, including a hopeful Super Bowl push.

Sunday’s regular season finale didn’t involve hoisting a massive trophy or winning a massive ring, but the contest culminated in a special occasion for the pair, while both sporting a No. 13 jersey.

With a six-yard crossing route snag in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter of the Saints’ 33-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers, Thomas became the first receiver in franchise history to eclipse 1,400 yards, breaking Horn’s New Orleans single-season receiving yards total of 1,399 he set in 2004. He finished Sunday with five catches for 29 yards, ending with the record-setting grab....

Full Story - The Advocate

Teddy Bridgewater throws first TD pass in over 3 years

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- Teddy Bridgewater threw his first touchdown pass in more than three years on Sunday, the latest milestone in his comeback from a devastating 2016 knee injury.

Bridgewater, 26, started for the New Orleans Saints in place of Drew Brees since New Orleans has already clinched the NFC's No. 1 seed. He completed the 9-yard TD pass to rookie receiver Tre'Quan Smith early in the fourth quarter in a 33-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Bridgewater's last NFL start came with the Minnesota Vikings during a playoff loss to Seattle after the 2016 season. And he said earlier this week that he had "the chills" just thinking about starting again.

Full Story - ESPN.com

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