Saints-Panthers series historically close

NEW ORLEANS - The Saints-Panthers series has been extremely close under Sean Payton. The matchup is tied at six each when Payton is on the sideline, though two of those losses were without the starters for the Saints. They meet twice a year - this one means more than most - and there's no love lost between these guys. Especially when touchdown celebrations like Cam Newton's are involved.

"Even when we're not playing them I don't like seeing it," said Saints wide receiver Lance Moore. "That's just the nature of it. I'm sure he (Newton) doesn't like when we're winning games. That's just how it goes. We're divisional rivals, and we always wish the worst for each other."

The Saints-Panthers games are heated, evenly matched, but just because they're in the same division don't call it a rivalry game.

"I think Michigan-Ohio State is a rivalry game, Army-Navy, Auburn-Alabama, and Georgia-Florida," said Coach Sean Payton. "In our game, divisional games carry more weight, and there are times where certain teams have competitive games. This year, obviously, Carolina and the Saints are a game of importance, but I don't know that in our league that same thing exists like it does in college, per se."