It’s common knowledge in sports that if you take care of your own business, you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.
While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season; hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
New Orleans Saints 34, Carolina Panthers 31
In arguably the most exciting game of the week, the Saints squeaked by the Panthers thanks to some truly awful kicking from Carolina’s Joey Slye.
This looked like it was going to be a blowout early, with the Saints jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead which had their home field rocking. Carolina answered with a long 51-yard touchdown to D.J. Moore which was followed with a missed extra point by Slye (a common theme on the afternoon).
Carolina used a monster 17-play drive right at the end of the half to make the score 17-15, missing the two-point conversion which was only attempted because Slye’s miss put them behind the 8-ball.
New Orleans opened up a 13-point lead again in the second half and Carolina once again fought back behind the brilliance of Christian McCaffrey, Kyle Allen, and Moore. McCaffrey and Moore each registered their second touchdowns of the game in the third and fourth quarters to make it 31-31, as Slye missed another extra point.
The Panthers forced a big turnover on downs late, and used 11 plays to get within the doorstep of New Orleans’ goal line as the 2-minute warning hit, before Slye missed a chip shot 28-yard field goal. The Saints marched down field and Wil Lutz kicked the game winning FG as time expired. With this Saints win, the Falcons are officially eliminated from NFC South contention. Slye left five points on the board with his misses.
Drew Brees had 311 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Latavius Murray was the leading rusher with 64 yards and a score. Michael Thomas led the Saints in receiving with 101 yards.
Kyle Allen registered 256 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. McCaffrey recorded 133 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. D.J. Moore led all receivers with 126 yards and two touchdowns.
NFC South Standings after Week 11
1. New Orleans Saints (9-2 overall record; 3-1 division record) - Next at Falcons (TNF)
2. Carolina Panthers (5-6 overall record; 1-3 division record) - Next vs. Redskins
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7 overall record; 2-3 division record) - Next at Jaguars
4. Atlanta Falcons (3-8 overall record; 2-1 division record) - Next vs. Saints (TNF)