This week is big for many teams, but perhaps no Week 16 matchup is more intriguing than today’s game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. Whichever team wins will go home with the NFC South division title and a first-round bye, presuming both win next week as well. Both teams can also clinch a playoff spot if either the Arizona Cardinals or San Francisco 49ers lose or tie. The Saints and Panthers both know it’s best to control their own destiny, so both 10-4 teams will be ready for a battle that starts with their 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST kickoff. The Saints vs Panthers game will be broadcast on FOX, or you can watch Saints vs Panthers online free live using one of several different tools.
Quarterback Drew Brees and Saints won the first meeting handily, a 31-13 win just two weeks ago. But that Sunday Night Football game was in New Orleans, where the Saints have been astounding this year. Today’s Saints vs Panthers game takes place at Bank of America Stadium. Cam Newton’s Panthers are also one of the hottest teams in the NFL, having won nine of their past 10 games. That lone loss against the Saints marked the first time a team had scored more than 24 points against Carolina this season, so the Panthers defense will be particularly on guard today.
In the teams’ previous game, Drew Brees put on a clinic against the NFL’s second-ranked defense. It was par for the course to a certain degree, as Brees has passed for 4,500 yards and 34 touchdowns this season. But the way he found seams and managed the clock was to be expected at home. Cam Newton, on the other hand, had a rough night in passing for 160 yards and a single touchdown that didn’t happen until 5:15 left in the fourth. He was also sacked five times.
With so much on the line and Carolina looking for revenge, the outcome could be very different when you watch Saints vs Panthers online free today. Following that loss to the Saints, the Panthers quickly recovered to win last week against the Jets. For that matter, they even adjusted within their first Saints game earlier this season, as they held New Orleans to just 10 points in the second half. Today’s Saints vs Panthers game being in Carolina further helps the Panthers chances, as the Saints haven’t played nearly as well on the road. Including their loss last week to the Rams, for the season New Orleans has averaged 32.9 points per game at home compared to 18.4 on the road.
One of the biggest adjustments the Panthers made in the second half came on their use of the blitz. Carolina succeeded in taking Brees out of his rhythm, a rare achievement in the Superdome. It’s safe to say the Panthers will blitz the Saints more often today as well. Panthers QB Newton will surely play better as well, as he currently has the fourth-best QBR at home.
You can watch Saints vs Panthers online free on DirecTV’s website if you subscribe to that cable provider’s NFL Sunday Ticket and have the MAX package add-on. The package comes with an additional subscription fee, but if you pay it you’ll be able to watch the live streaming version free of any NFL game, including today’s 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST Week 16 NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.