Preview: Saints/Panthers Matchup

Dec 29, 2012

The New Orleans Saints will face the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 season finale Sunday at noon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Neither team can clinch a playoff berth with a victory, but both teams are riding winning streaks and looking to build momentum going into next season.

With a victory, the Saints can even the all-time series history between the two teams at 18 wins apiece.

The Saints have won four of their last five meetings with the Panthers, but Carolina defeated the Saints earlier this season, 35-27 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Drew Brees leads all NFL passers with 4,781 yards and 39 touchdowns on the season. Brees needs only 219 yards passing Sunday to eclipse 5,000 yards for the third time in his career, a feat which no NFL player has accomplished. To date, Brees is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a season more than once in his career.

Despite his gaudy numbers, Brees has had a bit of an interception problem this season. Brees and Indianapolis rookie quarterback Andrew Luck share the distinction of leading the NFL with 18 interceptions each.

Brees has been far more accurate during the Saints’ current two-game winning streak, throwing 92 passes with zero interceptions over the last two weeks.

Two Saints earned Pro Bowl honors this week. NFL coaches, players and fans voted punter Thomas Morstead and guard Jahri Evans onto the starting Pro Bowl roster. Tight end Jimmy Graham, offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod and Brees will serve as alternates.