For the second time in three weeks, the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers are tied atop the NFC South and headed into a pivotal faceoff.
This time, the two teams are 10-4 and playing in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. In Week 14, Carolina traveled to the Superdome in New Orleans and lost 31-13, Carolina’s worst loss of the season.
With just two weeks left in the regular season, neither team has locked up a playoff spot. That could change Sunday. If the Saints beat the Panthers, New Orleans will lock up the NFC South and the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC. Carolina would still be alive for a playoff spot, but it would have work to do or need help.
If the Panthers beat the Saints, Carolina would be playoff bound but would still need to win its Week 17 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons to earn the NFC’s No. 2 playoff seed. New Orleans would still be alive for a playoff spot, but it would have work to do or need help.
Neither team is going home eliminated from the playoffs with a loss on Sunday, which reduces some of the stress of the game. But the team that wins is definitely in the driver’s seat in regard to playoff seeding.
So, who has the edge in each of the matchups we’ll see on Sunday?