Per Drive Stats

Offense
Points per drive: Saints = 2.61 (3rd), Panthers = 1.90 (15th), Adv: Saints (12)
Scoring percentage: Saints = 45.1% (3rd), Panthers = 35.2% (17th), Adv: Saints (14)
Turnover percentage: Saints = 11.8% (19th), Panthers = 16.2% (30th), Adv: Saints (11)

Defense
Points per drive: Saints = 2.32 (26th), Panthers = 1.84 (12th), Adv: Panthers (14)
Scoring percentage: Saints = 44% (28th), Panthers = 34.5% (11th), Adv: Panthers (17)
Turnover percentage: Saints = 15% (3rd), Panthers = 10.9% (16th), Adv: Saints (13)

Only surprising stat here is the Saints defense is 3rd in the league in forcing turnovers with 15% of all drives against them ending in a turnover. Couple this with the fact the Panthers are 30th in giveaway percentage, and you have the strong possibility for the Saints to win the turnover margin in this game.

Overall stats

Passing offense
Passer rating: Saints = 107.0 (3rd), Panthers = 81.2 (25th), Adv: Saints (22)
EXP: Saints = 82.15 (5th), Panthers = 9.72 (19th), Adv: Saints (14)
Adj. net yards/att: Saints = 7.4 (4th), Panthers = 5.7 (24th), Adv: Saints (20)

Passing defense
Passer rating: Saints = 95.5 (24th), Panthers = 94.8 (20th), Adv: Panthers (4)
EXP: Saints = -66.75 (28th), Panthers = -6.53 (13th), Adv: Panthers (15)
Adj. net yards/att: Saints = 7.4 (27th), Panthers = 6.6 (19th), Adv: Panthers (8)

Big advantage here for the Saints passing offense versus the Panthers passing offense, but this is partially offset by the Panthers pass defense being better than the Saints pass defense.

Rushing offense
rush yards/game: Saints = 105.1 (16th), Panthers = 113.9 (11th), Adv: Panthers (5)
rush yards/carry: Saints = 4.1 (16th), Panthers = 4.0 (22nd), Adv: Saints (6)
EXP: Saints = -21.61 (15th), Panthers = -16.52 (11th), Adv: Panthers (4)

Rushing defense
rush yards/game: Saints = 107.9 (19th), Panthers = 79.0 (2nd), Adv: Panthers (17)
rush yards/carry: Saints = 4.1 (12th), Panthers = 3.4 (2nd), Adv: Panthers (10)
EXP: Saints = 35.53 (27th), Panthers = 26.57 (18th), Adv: Panthers (9)

Big advantage here for the Panthers both in rushing offense and in rushing defense. Only advantage for the Saints is they are slightly more efficient per carry (4.1 versus 4.0 yards per carry). Panthers rushing defense is very, very stout.

Conclusion
It’s going to difficult for the Saints to run the ball against Carolina’s run defense, which is 2nd in both yards/game and yards/carry allowed. But the Saints should be able to pass the ball against a very suspect Panthers pass defense. The game plan should be flipped from what it should have been against Denver. Saints need to run enough to keep the Panthers honest, but the passing game is where they can make some hay.

Panthers should be able to have some success on offense against the Saints defense. They should have some marginal success running the ball against the Saints, but the Panthers are only 22nd in yards/carry versus the Saints D at 12th in yards/carry allowed. If the Saints can get up early on the scoreboard it might take the Panthers running game out of the equation for them. Panthers passing offense has not been very good, but it’s up against a very weak Saints pass defense, so we’ll see.

Difference in the game could be turnovers. Saints are 3rd best at forcing turnovers (in terms of % of opponents’ drives ending in a turnover) while the Panthers have had issues protecting the ball (30th in giveaways as a percentage of drives).

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