Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Vintage performance from Drew Brees leads Saints to Divisional Round

Vintage performance from Drew Brees leads Saints to Divisional Round

Saints safety Von Bell then sacked Newton near midfield on fourth down two plays later, assuring Carolina's third loss to New Orleans this season. I mean there was one time he scooted off for 13 yards and it was very Cam-esque, but at the same time he wanted to be a pocket passer.

Rivera said when he walked on the field to check on Newton, the quarterback told him he'd been poked in the eye. "That's what we didn't do".

A heck of a play that allowed the Saints to defeat the Panthers for the third time this season, marching on to the NFC Divisional Playoff Game.

Newton finished 24 of 40 passing for 349 yards and two touchdowns, including a 56-yard scoring strike to Christian McCaffrey that pulled the Panthers within a touchdown with 4:09 left.

Then the comeback bid unraveled. Add in a sloppy Saints possession on offense, and Newton and the Panthers had the ball back looking to take the lead and pull off the upset with over two and a half minutes remaining.

"I've just got to be better", he said after the 31-26 loss.

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On Carolina's next-to-last play, Devin Funchess had a chance to complete an unbelievable comeback with a 34-yard touchdown catch. "I thought the ball was past the line of scrimmage".

"He was a lot like me", said Johnson, who came out of Southern Cal with more fanfare as the No. 1 overall pick by the New York Jets in the 1996 NFL Draft.

This one has the makings of an offensive show with both teams having explosive players and in the case of the Saints, a slam dunk future Hall of Famer in the prolific Drew Brees who is nearing the end of his storied career and would like nothing better than to win one more Super Bowl ring before he goes out.

After Carolina cut the lead to 7-3, Brees completed 7-of-7 passes for 77 yards on a 75-yard drive (the Saints were penalized 10 yards for holding) that he capped with a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Hill. "I said, 'You got a play you like?' He said yeah".

"He said, 'do you want to go for it or punt?' I said, 'do you have a play you like?' and he said 'Yeah.' So, I said, 'let's go for it.' End of discussion".

"No, it's not mine, but I have been drinking it for years". Your team is almost blowing a huge lead at home after a fantastic regular season.

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The defense did not give Newton much help for long stretches.

There simply can not have been many times during Brees's tenure in New Orleans that he has seen an opposing defense use such a stop-the-run strategy, particularly in a game of such significance. "It's frustrating. We beat the Patriots". "We need to learn our lessons from this year where things went wrong, moves that need to be made and find ways to improve".

USA Today's Nancy Armour wrote that the NFL should "hammer" the Panthers hile noting the league doesn't care about its players.

"It wasn't my head", Newton said.

All that was hanging over Newton late Sunday when he dropped back to pass one last time, a season behind him and only uncertainty in front of him.

Newton said after the game that it wasn't his head that had gotten injured. "It was my eye". My helmet had came down low enough over my eye lid and got pressed by a player's stomach, I believe.

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