Saints survive wild finish over Panthers

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Drew turns 39 on January 15, and he has admitted that there's an internal clock ticking down the minutes of his career.

"You try to enjoy as many of these moments as possible, because it's not gonna last forever".

There were dozens of players on the field on both sides Sunday in New Orleans' 31-26 playoff win over Carolina, but these 10 affected the game the most. Brees was intercepted by safety Mike Adams, and Newton took over on the Carolina 31 with 1:51 left.

But once the Saints were safe to celebrate, man, did they ever. Newton, who was drafted first overall by Carolina in 2011, said after the game that he has a really good relationship with Richardson.

"To see former teammates of mine, it was great", Brees said.

Below is all you need to know to watch the action. "Because obviously there's plenty of struggle and plenty of adversity". Brees was 13 of 18 for 230 yards with two touchdowns.

The Saints (12-5) advance to play at NFC Central champion Minnesota (13-3 with a bye) at 3:40 p.m. Sunday. (And who knows, maybe it will give them a chance to return there again next month, since Minnesota is the home of Super Bowl LII).

The next time Carolina got the ball, the Panthers faced second-and-7 from their 20, and Newton took a hard hit to the head from Saints defensive end David Onyemata. Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara ran it in from 2 yards out. "I do believe I am the leader of this team and the team goes as I go".

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But Brees couldn't find an open receiver, was flushed out of the pocket and decided his best option was to throw it up for grabs.

"Everybody keeps talking about us and the things we've been able to accomplish". "We could have played better as a team".

Brees replied: "Do you have a play?" to which Payton said, "Yeah".

The Saints started the scoring Sunday when Brees unleashed an 80-yard touchdown to Ted Ginn in the first quarter.

Newton completed passes for 17 yards to receiver Devin Funchess and 21 yards to receiver Kaelin Clay that helped put the Panthers at the Saints' 26-yard line with 58 seconds to play. Ginn was not the first option on the throw, but when the safety got out of position, Brees found the streaking Ginn with a flawless throw.

After another pair of dueling field goals, Carolina threatened early in the fourth quarter, with Newton finally locating his favorite target, Greg Olson, for a 14-yard touchdown to draw the Panthers within five points.

Panthers make their second appearance at the Superdome this season as these NFC South rivals clash for the third time in '17 and the first time ever in the postseason.

"You can't be more proud of the defense. But when you go through the course of an National Football League season and you look at the attrition that takes place, there's - shoot - eight or nine of our (regulars) that were playing in that game that aren't playing in this game", Payton said Monday. Gutekunst has been Green Bay's player personnel director for almost two years, though he has been with the Packers' player personnel department for almost two decades.