Reggie Bush, other Saints favorites will be back for Sunday's playoff game

Reggie Bush, other Saints favorites will be back for Sunday's playoff game

The NFC South winners New Orleans Saints are back in the play-offs after a four-year drought and they welcome the Carolina Panthers for a Wild Card Round clash.

"It's hard to beat a team three times in a season", has been a popular refrain since the Saints were paired with the Panthers. More than a decade into his career as Saints head coach, Sean Payton shockingly reimagined his pass-happy attack in 2017, turning his offense into a run-first juggernaut behind the dependable Mark Ingram and the spectacular rookie Alvin Kamara. The New Orleans Advocate reports that Bush will not be leading the team onto the field with a bat like he did in 2009 because that is against National Football League rules.

Cam Newton and Co are also back in the post-season and looking to repeat their run to the Super Bowl from two years ago. As the Panthers prepare to visit their division rivals in New Orleans this weekend, Newton's ability to succeed in the passing game will be the contest's crucial factor.

But if you look to stop Ginn from beating you, then Ingram and Kamara can slowly win with chunks of yardage at a time, as they did against Buffalo when their team almost eclipsed 300 rushing yards in a 47-10 win. Not only did they defeat the Panthers twice, they did it decisively both times. The Saints have rushed for nearly 300 yards in the previous two meetings combined and proved to be a major reason why they won. Kamara is fast enough to get on the edge quickly and turn the corner, but also powerful enough to bull through tacklers.

When New Orleans topped Carolina by 10 in the dome in Week 13, it ended a Panthers four-game winning streak and was one of only two losses in Carolina's past nine games.

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Having said that, should the Panthers somehow steal one here, they immediately become a team no opponent will want to see going forward.

Expect the Saints to apply plenty of pressure on Newton.

"It just kind of let everybody know, 'Hey, we're not a bad team, we're not a bad defense". They've got that part covered, by the looks of it. With AP Photos.Drew Brees passed for 376 yards and two touchdowns and the New Orleans Saints held off Carolina's late comeback bid to seal a 31-26 victory in their NFC wild-card game.

The No 8 overall pick out of Stanford was strictly a third down back behind veteran Jonathan Stewart, and neither have been very successful running the ball. Will Carolina stop New Orleans dead in its tracks?

Meanwhile, Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen and Saints Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore are slated to play after missing each of the previous two meetings.

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