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Panthers' Ron Rivera: New Orleans Saints 'beatable'

Riverboat Ron Rivera took some time away from analyzing fourth-down statistics Monday night and watched his upcoming opponent, the New Orleans Saints, get whooped up on by the Seattle Seahawks.

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The Carolina Panthers coach had one distinct takeaway.

"I learned that they're beatable," he said Wednesday at his news conference. "I thought Seattle played a very good game and I thought some things were off for New Orleans. But it was good to see, give you a little bit of a jump, a little bit of a head start on our next opponent."

The Panthers and Saints will meet Sunday night in New Orleans with the NFC South division lead on the line. The Panthers, on an eight-game winning streak, are playing as well as any team in the NFL. The Saints, on the other hand, are coming off a disheartening pummeling.

The Saints' offense, after not moving the ball against a stalwart Seahawks defense, gets to face a group that is even more ferocious up front.

The positive for New Orleans is that the Panthers' secondary is more nondescript than the one they faced Monday. However, if the Saints can't block the Panthers' rush -- which expects to get their best pass rusher in Charles Johnson back after missing two weeks -- Drew Brees might not have a chance to exploit the advantage.

The Saints are a much better offensive team in their home dome, but some of that advantage could be shaved due to a plane delay that kept the team in Seattle an extra day.

Rivera said he doesn't believe that hiccup will slow down the Saints. His defense has to do that job.

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