4 key Panthers matchups to watch vs. the Saints in Week 17

(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports) Joey Slye /

FOX. Sunday, Jan 3. 15. 5-10. 87. Saints -5.5. 4.25 PM ET. 11-4

The key Carolina Panthers matchups to watch vs. the Saints in Week 17.

Although some fans may not like it, the Carolina Panthers will be doing everything in their power to topple the New Orleans Saints and head into the offseason with back-to-back wins. An eventful first campaign at the helm for head coach Matt Rhule comes to an end on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium and if they can get one over on their NFC South rival, it will give them even more positive momentum to take into a crucial preparation period in 2021.

The Saints are still in with a shot of securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which would result in an all-important bye. But they are missing some top pieces on offense that might make things difficult against the Carolina Panthers and their improving defensive unit.

End of season games such as this normally becomes an anti-climax. But the Panthers won’t want to just roll over after making encouraging strides of late.

Let’s take a look at four key matchups that are sure to play a significant role in which direction the game goes in Week 17.

Matchup No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown vs. Ty Montgomery

Ty Montgomery wasn’t expected to see much in the way of a workload in this one. But the Saints have been decimated at running back due to COVID-19 complications that should see him start.

This is a huge turnaround for a player that has spent some time as a running back over his career but is more accustomed to being a wide receiver. Montgomery with have his hands full trying to run up the middle against the Panthers, thanks in no small part to the presence of Derrick Brown.

The No. 7 overall selection has been in sensational form of late, leaving no doubt that Carolina made the right call by taking Brown over Isaiah Simmons. He will be brimming with confidence after another outstanding performance last time out and the defensive tackle could have a big say in the overall outcome.