Nov 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is sacked by New Orleans Saints inside linebacker Nate Stupar (54) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints defense actually played their most inspired football of the season. Despite missing star cornerback Delvin Breaux, who sat out due to injury, New Orleans held Cam Newton to only14 completed passes and 42% completion percentage.
They only sacked the Panthers QB 3 times, but pressured him nearly every time he dropped back to pass. Carolina only rushed for 51yds in the game as well. Cam Jordan continued his rampage, and might be playing the best football of his career over the last few weeks.
Nick Fairley, Daryl Tapp, Sheldon Rankins and Tyeler Davison all had solid games. Linebackers Craig Robertson, Nate Stupar and Dannell Ellerbe were flying all over the field.
One thing that is for certain: this is such a different defense when weakside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe does play.
The secondary of Ken Crawley, B.W. Webb, Sterling Moore, Kenny Vaccaro and Vonn Bell controlled the Carolina recievers decently for most of the evening.
What was most remarkable about the defense was the fact that they were basically playing with their backs to the wall time and time again; due to an uninspired offensive performance in the first half and absolutely pathetic special teams play.
Panthers WR Ted Ginn made a spectacular touchdown catch at the end of the first half, and his teammate Kelvin Benjamin had a back-breaking catch on 3rd and long late in the 4th quarter to essentially clinch the game for Carolina; but otherwise this Saints defense played well enough to win once again.