Had the Panthers defeated Atlanta in Week 17, Carolina would have clinched the NFC South division and hosted on wild card weekend as a result of the Saints falling to Tampa Bay.
Fifteen weeks later, the Saints are 11-5 and back in the playoffs for the first time in four years and will be hosting those same Panthers, also now 11-5, on Sunday.
"There's familiarity", said Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who completed 25 of 34 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown in the 31-21 win and was 22 of 29 for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-13 win. Kamara had 1,554 yards and 13 touchdowns from scrimmage along with 347 kick return yards and one return score on 11 tries.
Their investment helped finance the stadium when it was built, so if the new Panthers owner moves the team out of Charlotte, they will lose those seat licenses.
Saints head coach Sean Payton almost cost his team the game when he chose to go for it on 4th & short with a 5-point lead, rather than punting the ball and trying to pin the Panther deep with less than two minutes remaining.
Bortles was off most of the day, misfiring short and long, but made up for it with 88 yards rushing. Olsen could prove to be the X-factor in the game, providing Newton a big target over the middle of the field he lacked in the previous matchups.
"They're going to come up with something else", said Ginn, who caught a 40-yard touchdown in the first game against Carolina.
Roy Moore Accuser's Home Burns Down In Possible Arson
Public information officer, Natalie Barton said "that fire is still under investigation by the Etowah County Arson Task Force". On Tuesday morning, Johnson's home in Gadsen, Alabama went up in flames and the blaze is now being investigated for arson .
Bortles, who was 6 of 15 for 33 yards in the first half, also was Jacksonville's leading rusher with three carries for 35 yards.
However, since the Week 13 matchup with the Saints, Carolina has won three of four games and has tallied 10 takeaways, tied for third best in the National Football League in that span. For Carolina to buck that trend, the Panthers will need to slow down a Saints offense that has averaged 32.8 points per game in the last five games of this series. He exceeded 120 receiving yards in both games in 2015. "What we were during the preseason wasn't a fluke; it's something we can truly be.' And we rolled with it from there", Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said of that Week 3 awakening. That kicked off an eight-game winning streak that would be snapped by the Los Angeles Rams.
"It's going to be a change, but I don't want to think about that yet", Schug said.
The NFL playoffs continue Sunday with a doubleheader starting in Jacksonville, Florida, where the Jaguars and Buffalo Bills ended lengthy post-season droughts to make a wild-card game.
Maybe they play their best game of the year and win in the last seconds on a Graham Gano walk off.
The Panthers-Saints victor will play at Minnesota next week.