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Mike Shanahan
Stakes will be high when Panthers and Saints square off
Stakes will be high when Panthers and Saints square off

OK, Panthers, once more with feeling. For the second time in three weeks, the Carolina Panthers will face the New Orleans Saints in a high-stakes NFC South showdown that will go a long way toward bringing the playoff picture into focus. Hanging in the balance is sole possession of first place in the division, and a possible first-round bye in the postseason. The Panthers, who have won nine of 10 games, suffered a 31-13 defeat at New Orleans in Week 14 but got new life Sunday when the Saints lost at St. Louis, 27-16. Now, the Panthers and Saints each are 10-4. If either team can win its final two games, it will enter the postseason seeded No. 2 with a week off. The loser Sunday...

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