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NFL Research: Saints at Panthers (TNF)

Here are some facts and stats to keep an eye on prior to the Saints-Panthers matchup on Thursday Night Football, courtesy of NFL Research.

Game facts: New Orleans Saints

Next Gen Stat:  Drew Brees has the fastest average time to throw of any quarterback in the league (2.37 seconds). 

Sack prevention:  With Drew Brees' quick release time, the Saints have minimized sacks, allowing just 13 this season (T-3rd fewest in NFL).

Troubles with Panthers' pass rush:  Brees has been sacked 30 times in 20 career games against the Panthers (most times sacked by any opponent in his career). 

Brees still in his prime:  Drew Brees has five straight games with a 100+ passer rating (longest active streak in the NFL). 

Defensive standout:  DT Nick Fairley leads the Saints with 4.5 sacks and is tied for the team lead with 15 QB hits. 

Poor pass defense:  The Saints defense allows a league-high 292.7 pass yards per game. 

Game facts: Carolina Panthers

Next Gen Stat:  Last season, Cam Newton had a 98.9 passer rating when he had 2.5+ seconds to throw (3rd in NFL). This season, Newton has a 70.8 passer rating when he has 2.5+ seconds to throw (28th in NFL). 

Down year for Cam:  Cam Newton's career-low 82.0 passer rating ranks 27th in the NFL this season among qulifying QBs.

Too. Many. Turnovers.:  The Panthers have already matched their giveaway total from a season ago (19). 

Career year for Olsen?:  Greg Olsen leads all tight ends this season with 50 receptions and 712 receiving yards. 

Emerging defense:  Since their Week 7 bye, the Panthers have allowed just 16.7 points per game and 58.0 rush yards per game. In Weeks 1-6, Carolina allowed 29.3 points per game and 89.5 rush YPG. 

Elite run stoppers:  Carolina's defense allows just 3.4 yards per carry (2nd in NFL). 

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