Ladies and gentlemen, the biggest game of the season is almost upon us... A matchup we saw coming 4 weeks away and just hoped it would pan out to be a big time game.
All eyes will be focused in on the Superdome Sunday night to see if the Panthers can overtake the Saints as the top team in the NFC South. Don't be fooled by what you saw as the Seahawks dismantled the Saints in Seattle. The Saints may be equally as tough to take down at home and will be refocused by the monstrous loss to the Seahawks.
Over the past few weeks I have become very confident in the system I developed to determine the most likely outcome for our upcoming games. Going into this week will be a true test as to whether or not some tweaking needs to be done. I have my doubts as to the accuracy of this weeks score as it does not take into account the Saints home field advantage which, trust me, is much greater than the three points Vegas may allot.
For those unfamiliar with my prediction system know that since publishing it over the last four weeks it has correctly determined the winner of each game and has been within an average of 3.5 points on the margin of victory.
The strong performance against the Buccaneers improved the Panthers defensive adjustment to over 9.5 points per game. This means the Panthers defense allows 9.5 points per game less than their opponents typically score. This is a HUGE statistic, and one that has kept us in almost every game we have played.
The Saints have a fantastic offense and a strong defense. However, I have some good news on this front. The Saints are only the third highest scoring team we have faced this season behind the Seahawks and Patriots. Our defense held both of those teams well below their averages, but the downside is both of those matchups were in Charlotte.
Another positive on our side is the fact that the Panthers defense has allowed 29 less points on the season than the toughest defense the Saints have played to date, the Seattle Seahawks.
I would feel extremely optimistic about this game were it not being played in New Orleans. However, the numbers being what they are here is the result my system came up with.
Prediction: Panthers 20, Saints 16
Feel free to discuss your take and leave your insights below as they are always welcome. As always, good luck to the Saints, I know we all hope for a clean injury-free game!