By Marc Sessler | Around the NFL Writer
The Panthers aren't done -- not yet.
At least mathematically, as Carolina (6-7) still owns a shot at the NFC's final wild-card spot if the club can halt their ghastly five-game losing streak and embark on a three-game run of victories to close the campaign.
Tall order, indeed, considering the Panthers play a pair of tilts against the Saints wrapped around a clash with the Falcons. If they handle their business and the Vikings tumble once, Carolina would make the playoffs in 67 percent of the 77,385 scenarios generated by the New York Times depending on how the Eagles and Redskins fare over the next two weeks.
Still, none of this matters if the Panthers can't knock off the NFC South champion Saints just hours from now at home.
Here's what we'll be watching for in this season-defining meetup:
1. Winning their division for the second straight year, the Saints (11-2) sit in pole position for homefield advantage after watching the Rams (11-3) crumble to the Eagles on Sunday night. Their slate includes next week's match with the Steelers in between these Panthers bouts, but the Saints can still lose one of their final three games and seal up the top seed after downing Los Angeles 45-35 in Week 9. There's plenty to play for on both sidelines.
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