National Football League
New Orleans at Carolina
When: 8:25 PM ET, Thursday, October 30, 2014
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

A vintage performance by Drew Brees has the New Orleans Saints back in the playoff picture in the woeful NFC South Division. The Saints, however, are going to have to prove they can win on the road to secure a spot and their next test comes Thursday night when they visit the Carolina Panthers. Brees passed for 311 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday night's win over Green Bay, but New Orleans has dropped seven straight regular-season road games.

Carolina has just one win since beginning the season with back-to-back victories but still finds itself percentage points atop the division thanks to its tie against Cincinnati three weeks ago. The Panthers blew a late lead last week against defending Super Bowl champion Seattle, squandering several opportunities in the red zone in a 13-9 loss. Carolina has won four of the last five games in the series.

TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network. Line: Saints -3. O/U: 49.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (3-4): Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks had his best game as a professional last week, rushing for one score and catching a touchdown pass in New Orleans' 44-23 victory. Cooks' performance helped take some of the pressure off tight end Jimmy Graham who is still slowed by a shoulder injury and is listed as probable. New Orleans is ranked second in the NFL in total offense and fifth in scoring, averaging 28.4 points.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-4-1): Running back DeAngelo Williams declared himself "ready to roll" for Thursday's game, the first time in four games since he injured an ankle. Williams rushed for 210 yards against the Saints in 2012 and will likely share duties with Jonathan Stewart in the backfield for the Panthers, who rank 27th in rushing offense. Defense has been a problem, however, as Carolina has surrendered at least 37 points four times this season.


1. New Orleans has allowed 31.3 points on the road this season.

2. Carolina WR Kelvin Benjamin is second among rookies with 571 yards receiving

3. Panthers QB Cam Newton has six rushing touchdowns against the Saints in six career games.

PREDICTION: Panthers 34, Saints 31.
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
New Orleans 3-4 W1 28.4 26.9 3-0 0-4 0-1 3-3 1-1 1-1 3-3
Carolina 3-4-1 L2 20.9 26.0 2-2 1-2-1 3-3 0-1-1 0-0-1 1-0 3-2
Last Meeting
New Orleans Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/22/13 NO 13 CAR 17 365 126 239 222 81 141
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
New Orleans D. Brees 68.2 281 1 2
Carolina C. Newton 59.1 181 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
New Orleans M. Ingram 13 83 6.4 0
Carolina D. Williams 12 67 5.6 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
New Orleans J. Graham 5 73 14.6 1
Carolina T. Ginn 2 66 33.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
New Orleans J. Graham 1
Carolina D. Hixon 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
New Orleans D. Brees 69.5 2227 14 7
Carolina C. Newton 60.1 1643 8 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
New Orleans M. Ingram 58 331 5.7 4
Carolina J. Stewart 58 217 3.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
New Orleans J. Graham 39 435 11.2 4
Carolina K. Benjamin 38 571 15.0 5
Touchdowns Player TD
New Orleans J. Graham 4
Carolina K. Benjamin 5