FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

MAK­ING SOME NOISE: The Pan­thers will have to deal with a Saints crowd that hasn’t been able to cheer on its team in a play­off home game for seven years. And the Su­per­dome al­ready has the rep­u­ta­tion as one of the loud­est sta­di­ums in the league. Pan­thers prac­ticed with sim­u­lated dome noise all week. FUM­BLES AND PICS: His­tory sug­gests the Carolina de­fence will need to set the tone for the vis­i­tors to leave with a vic­tory. In the Pan­thers’ five losses this sea­son, they had two turnovers. In their 11 wins they had 19. Still, the Pan­thers were mi­nus-1 in the take­away-give­away cat­e­gory while the Saints were a plus-7. GET­TING TO QB1: It should be eas­ier to bring down the ag­ing Drew Brees than the big and nim­ble footed Cam New­ton. Es­pe­cially when Julius Pep­pers and Mario Ad­di­son gives the Pan­thers were the only team in the NFC with two play­ers who had more than 10 sacks, eat­ing chip­ping in with 11 of the team’s 50. Saints Cameron Jor­dan, mean­while, drools at the thought of hunt­ing down QBs. He was New Orleans top sack man with 13. GROUND­ING IT OUT: While the Saints have the dom­i­nat­ing duo of Mark In­gram and Alvin Ka­mara car­ry­ing the ball out of the back­filed, the Pan­thers are no slouches in that depart­ment them­selves. They ranked fourth in NFL rush­ing yards with an av­er­age of 131.4 per game. New­ton led the Pan­thers with 754 rush­ing yards, which was 22nd most in the league. RE­TURN­ING ROOKIE: Back in the Saints sec­ondary is Marshon Lat­ti­more, who was rested last week but still be­came the first de­fen­sive back to win mul­ti­ple NFL rookie of the month awards since the award be­gan in 1996. Upon learn­ing that stat, Lat­ti­more tweeted: “Sheesh, I was born in 96 lol”

GETTY IMAGES/PHO­TOS

Saints sack leader Jor­dan Cameron (94) will be out to harass Cam New­ton. Left, Luke Kuechly of Carolina must stop the New Orleans run game.

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