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NFL  

Saints try to snap 3-game skid against the last-place Panthers

CAROLINA (1-11) at NEW ORLEANS (5-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, FOX

BETTING LINE: Saints by 5 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Panthers 2-8-2; Saints 3-8-1.

SERIES RECORD: Saints lead 30-28.

LAST MEETING: Saints beat Panthers 20-17 on Sept. 18, 2023, at Carolina.

LAST WEEK: Panthers lost to Buccaneers 21-18; Saints lost to Lions 33-28.

PANTHERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (30), RUSH (26), PASS (30), SCORING (29).

PANTHERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (23), PASS (4), SCORING (31).

SAINTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (19), PASS (10), SCORING (19).

SAINTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (15), RUSH (24), PASS (7), SCORING (17).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Panthers minus-7; Saints plus-4.

PANTHERS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Chuba Hubbard is coming off his best game of the season, with 104 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hubbard wrested the starting job away from Miles Sanders earlier this season and hasn't relinquished it since. Hubbard will face a Saints defense that is allowing 4.5 yards per carry, which is 27th in the league.

SAINTS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Chris Olave, a 2022 first-round draft choice out of Ohio State, has 94 or more yards receiving in three straight games and leads New Orleans with 890 yards receiving this season.

KEY MATCHUP: Panthers OL vs. Saints pass rush. The Panthers have allowed 47 sacks this season, the fourth most in the league as rookie QB Bryce Young has spent most of the season under heavy duress. The Saints, however, have had just 19 sacks.

KEY INJURIES: The Panthers are little healthier on defense after getting CB Jaycee Horn and OLB Yetur Gross-Matos back last week. Saints QB Derek Carr has been in the NFL's concussion protocol this week. Reserve QB and utility player Taysom Hill (foot and hand), receiver Rashid Shaheed (thigh), running back Kendre Miller (ankle), defensive end Cameron Jordan (ankle) and rookie defensive end Isaiah Foskey (quadriceps) also missed practice this week.

SERIES NOTES: The Saints go for their third series sweep of the Panthers in the past five years. New Orleans has dominated the series since the start of the 2017 season, winning nine of 13.

STATS AND STUFF: The Panthers are 0-7 on the road this season. They haven’t won away from home since beating the Saints in Week 18 last season at the Superdome 10-7 on Eddy Pineiro's field goal. ... QB Bryce Young has only nine touchdown passes in 11 starts this season. Young has been sacked 44 times, an average of four per game. ... WR Adam Thielen has only four receptions for 27 yards in the past two games. That comes after an eight-game stretch where Thielen had 74 catches for 714 yards and four TDs. ... WR Jonathan Mingo is coming off his best game of the season with 10 receptions for 69 yards against the Buccaneers. The team’s second-round pick has yet to catch a touchdown pass this season. ... OLB Brian Burns was ejected from last week’s game against Tampa Bay for throwing a punch. ... This will be interim head coach Chris Tabor’s second game at the helm since Frank Reich was fired following a 1-10 start. ... Carr completed 17 of 22 passes for 226 yards with one TD and one interception during last week's loss to Detroit before leaving the game. … QB Jameis Winston passed for 353 yards in his most recent start against Carolina on Sept. 25, 2022. … Winston has 19 total TDs (18 passing, one rushing) in 10 starts for the Saints … RB Alvin Kamara had 109 scrimmage yards (58 receiving, 51 rushing) and two TDs rushing in Week 13. … Kamara leads all RBs with 60 receptions and ranks second with 413 yards receiving. He needs 79 scrimmage yards for his seventh straight season with 1,000 yards from scrimmage. … Olave has seven 100-yard games receiving, including his past two games. … Hill had his fourth TD rush rushing of the season last week and has at least 50 scrimmage yards in six of his past seven games. . … Jordan had his third TFL of the season last week. He has 4 1/2 sacks and five TFL in his past five games against Carolina. … DE Carl Granderson had a sack and forced fumble in these teams’ Week 2 meeting. … CB Paulson Adebo is tied for fifth in the NFL with a career-high 14 passes defensed in 2023. … S Tyrann Mathieu is the only safety with at least five passes defensed in each of past seven seasons and one of just two (along with Justin Simmons) with at least three interceptions in each of the past five seasons.

FANTASY TIP: Kamara ran for 107 yards in his previous game against the Panthers in January (he did not play in the September game while serving a league-imposed suspension), but has only one touchdown against Carolina in the past five games. Hill, if available, could see action in the running game. He had nine carries for 75 yards in the first meeting his season.

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AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl



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