The Saints defeated the St. Louis Rams, 31-28, on December 30, 2000, in the dome for their first-ever playoff win after splitting during the regular season. Well, the first step to Super Bowl 52 begins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Louisiana. Carolina had also contained the Saints' dynamic rushing attack, holding running back tandem Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara to a combined 14 rushing yards by halftime.
CAM ON THE RUN: The Panthers have been better when quarterback Cam Newton runs the ball.
In game two at New Orleans, Kamara capped the very first drive on fourth-down with an impressive touchdown run. If they do, it could help change the outcome of a third meeting between the two teams this season.
Meanwhile, Saints coach Sean Payton will be trying to change or disguise most everything his offense has done against the Panthers, which may be hard as those old plays accounted for 400 yards in the 31-21 win and 362 yards in the 34-13 victory. This season, a season-long duel between the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons thrust all three teams in the playoffs.
Four teams that weren't in the playoffs last season are assured of playing next weekend - Tennessee, Philadelphia and the winners of Jacksonville-Buffalo and Carolina-New Orleans. Expect another tight game on Sunday with an improved Panthers offensive performance highlighting the day.
Two years later, the Panthers took down NY in the first round and Chicago in the divisional round, and Seattle pummeled Carolina in the 2005 NFC Championship game.
So, there's that, and the Saints are a touchdown favorite over a team they dominated twice.
Not only does Olsen provide quarterback Cam Newton with a top-tier target, but he's enjoyed success against the Saints in the past.
Stewart sat out last week's 22-10 loss to Atlanta with back soreness. He played out the rest of the game without missing any more plays.
In Carolina, Christian McCaffrey has also grown with every game after a slow start to the season.
"It just kind of let everybody know, 'Hey, we're not a bad team, we're not a bad defense".
"He's definitely going to do his thing, but we're going to go out there, we're going to execute and do our thing, too", Te'o said.
"[It's] being able to have extra time to get treatment, to get massages and take advantage of the resources you have at your house: rolling out, stretching, things like that", wide receiver Adam Thielen said.
New Orleans could get starting left tackle Terron Armstead back from a thigh injury that kept him out of last week's 31-24 loss at Tampa Bay.