4 keys to victory for the Panthers vs. Saints in Week 17

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Payton /

Take advantage of distractions

It would be remiss of the Saints not to have at least one eye on what is going on at Soldier Field between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. If the home team is keeping things close, then it is going to potentially come with substantial ramifications surrounding who gets the No. 1 seed and the all-important first-round bye in the playoffs.

Now, getting the result against the Carolina Panthers will be the most important thing for Sean Payton’s men.

Where the chips fall after that is out of their hands to a certain extent. But if there are some added nerves during the contest if things remain tight, it is something Matt Rhule and his players can definitely take advantage of.

They aren’t playing for anything other than personal pride, which brought around some outstanding production last weekend in a similar situation. Washington came into the game with all the pressure on their shoulders, leaving Carolina relaxed and able to pick them apart with a sensational defensive display.

New Orleans might be a sterner test, even without Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, and Michael Thomas. However, there could be some areas for the Panthers to exploit and especially if their minds aren’t on the task at hand with another result pivotal to their fortunes.