Handing out grades for every single team in the 2013 NFL Week 12 action. Tonight: the Saints survive.
On Sunday, 49ers LB Ahmad Brooks was penalized for flagged for hitting Drew Brees in the head and/or neck area. On Thursday, Matt Ryan took a similar hit that went uncalled.
The return of coach Sean Payton will solve some of the Saints' problems, but not their shaky defense.
It was a disappointing year, but the Saints (7-9) still had some star power. Drew Brees threw a league-high 43 TD passes for 5,177 yards, the third-highest total in NFL history.
CB Jabari Greer and LB Scott Shanle are among New Orleans' inactives for its game against the Panthers.
President Obama was elected to his first term in office halfway through the Panthers' last four-game winning streak. Now that the president has won re-election, Carolina heads into the finale with a three-game streak.
Even in a year when he probably will break the NFL record for net punting, the Saints' Thomas Morstead did not take a Pro Bowl invitation for granted. With only one punter getting that honor from each conference, he knew the road was difficult, making him feel even better when he learned Wednesday he would represent the NFC.
The 'battle' for second place in the NFC South this Sunday at the Superdome will be between two of the hottest teams in the league.

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