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Friday, December 20, 2013
No defensive changes from first meeting

By David Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers don't plan any personnel changes or groupings from the first game against the New Orleans Saints, a 31-13 loss two weeks ago at the Superdome.

The focus has been on shoring up breakdowns in execution that the coaches still believe was largely responsible for quarterback Drew Brees passing for 313 yards and four touchdowns.

Here's a look at what the Saints did compared to the rest of Carolina's schedule against the league's No. 2 defense:

Points: 31 against a defense that is giving up an average of 13.6 per game.

Touchdown passes: Four against a unit that has given up only 10 to 13 other opponents, less than one a game.

Yards per game: 373 against a unit that is allowing 290.4 a game.

Turnovers forced: None compared to 27, an average of 2.0 per game.

Sacks: Two compared to 43, an average of 3.3 per game.

"It's overall performance," said defensive end Greg Hardy of what the Panthers (10-4) must change in a game that likely will decide the NFC South title. "We've got to bring a new effort, we've got to bring new consistency, new covering ability, new tackling ability, new rush ability."