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Quick Take: Panthers (2-2) at Saints (0-3)

Last meeting
Facing a New Orleans team that had already clinched the NFC South, Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme completed 23-of-27 passes and threw for two touchdowns as the Panthers downed the Saints, 31-21, in Week 17 last season.

The Panthers have won the past three meetings to seize a 13-11 overall series advantage.

Last week
Carolina struggled to get anything going offensivley against the visiting Buccaneers and suffered a 20-7 loss. Backup quarterback David Carr, filling in for the injured Delhomme, did not get the Panthers into the end zone until the final minute and finished just 19-of-41 for 155 yards. The reeling Saints mercifully were off last week.

At stake
The Panthers need a win to keep pace with the division-leading Buccaneers. It should bode well for them that the game is on the road. Under coach John Fox they have a better record on the road than they do at home and this year they are 2-0 on the road and 0-2 in Charlotte. New Orleans, on the other hand, simply needs to win a game. Any realistic hopes the 0-3 Saints have of salvaging this season rest on Sunday's outcome. Only one team in NFL history has made the playoffs after an 0-4 start -- the 1992 San Diego Chargers.

Key matchup
Saints running back Reggie Bush vs. the Panthers defensive front. After enjoying a successful rookie season, Bush has been unable to cut loose early this season. He has only 150 total yards in three games and has rushed for a paltry 2.8 yard per carry. With Deuce McAllister lost for the year with a knee injury, the Saints are counting on Bush to be the featured runner. His ability to break some big runs against the Panthers' 21st-ranked rush defense will likely go a long way toward deciding the winner.

Did you know?
In three starts against the Panthers, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has never thrown an interception, a streak spanning 75 pass attempts.

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