Cam Newton tries to take blame after valiant effort

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It was Brees' placement that made him impossible to stop on Sunday, when he consistently exploited tight coverage and threw receivers open all afternoon. It was intercepted by safety Mike Adams, which turned out better for New Orleans than an incompletion because it meant the Panthers had to start from their own 31 instead of midfield.

Ultimately, Jordan does have a lot of respect for Newton, who is one of the hardest quarterbacks in the National Football League to corral, although the Saints star sacked him once on Sunday, batted down two passes, forced a pivotal intentional grounding penalty and helped Vonn Bell clean up Newton on the game's final play.

Newton echoed Rivera's assessment that he was poked in the eye. "Just trust me on this". "I'm not going to take the coward's way and point fingers".

Panther nation will bemoan and wonder what would have been if not for an intentional grounding call on Newton that took cost Carolina precious yards and seconds in the final minute, but not Newton.

After the Saints beat the Panthers 31-26 on Sunday and eliminated Carolina from the playoffs, Jordan was asked about Newton and his performance in the locker room.

"I think that's a stretch", he said. Le sigh. I didn't get much of a chance to watch either game, but they at least seemed to be exciting and playoff-worthy, which separates it from most of the prime-time games we've seen this year.

- Ben Koyack, Jaguars, caught the go-ahead 1-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter of Jacksonville's victory over Buffalo.

"I guess, in a way, yeah, you get an opportunity (for revenge), but we've got to treat it like any other game". Your Saints are in the playoffs and they look scary good!

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Jordan, an animated personality who has never shied away from the occasional bulletin-board material, also referred to Panthers offensive tackle Matt Kalil as "Speedbump McGee" after finishing Sunday's game with a sack, an assist on another sack and two batted passes. "We knew what we had to do and it was on the receivers". Containing Cam Newton will be a must for the Saints' defense, which will be helped by the presence of Marshon Lattimore, the cornerback who is a rookie of the year candidate and just happened to have missed both of the earlier games against the Panthers. Jordan has mocked the quarterback's play as well as his wardrobe at times, and he got the last laugh on the field with his team's three-game sweep over Carolina this season.

After another Carolina field goal, Brees hit 4-of-6 passes for 67 yards, including an 18-yarder to Brandon Coleman, a 25-yarder to Hill and a 14-yarder to Thomas that set up fullback Zach Line's 1-yard touchdown run.

"This win is special", Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said.

"Had half of those been touchdowns, we'd be sitting in a different spot", Jordan said. Obviously, he came up with the touchdown at the touchdown catch as well.

Jordan saved some of his jokes for Carolina tackle Matt Kalil, who has given up two sacks to Jordan this season.

At first, the Panthers QB would leave the game.

"We are in contact now with the Panthers' medical staff and we will not comment further until those conversations are completed".

Newton dropped to the floor as he left the pitch for treatment, and the league wants assurances that concussion protocols were followed correctly. While it's not fair to the Saints to say the officials cost the Panthers a win, it would be inaccurate to say the officials' incompetence played no role in the outcome whatsoever.

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