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Armchair Quarterback: Saints vs. Panthers

Is it time to panic?

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Everyone knows where their panic button is, right?

The New Orleans Saints turned in another poor performance offensively, falling to the Carolina Panthers 22-16 in a game that they could’ve ran away with had the offense shown up before the 4th quarter.

Let’s look at some of the takeaways from the game.

Chris Olave is that dude

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Btw, he leads the team in receiving yards through three games.

Olave caught nine balls for 146 yards Sunday vs. Carolina, in one of the few bright spots of this offense. He’s stepped up and made plays in every level of the field, including the short underneath plays that some scouting reports said he would struggle with.

Some people were worried about the Saints trading up to snag him, but it’s working out great so far.

The defense played well... except for one play

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Saints D held Carolina to 293 total yards of offense and only six points scored by the offense. However, that touchdown came on a 67-yard screen pass that the Black and Gold whiffed on two east tackles from PJ Williams and Tyrann Mathieu. McCaffery had over 100 yards from scrimmage, but did you expect anything different now that he’s healthy? You can’t stop him, just contain him.

We have problems on offense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Look, I like Pete Carmichael.

But at the end of the day, the play calling has been suspect at best.

Part of it has to be that he didn’t want the job to begin with. He wanted to stay in his role as passing game coordinator, but the Saints sweet talked him into the OC spot.

Now, the offense is struggling. And I’m not saying he’s the sole person to blame. Jameis is struggling with injuries and the pressure of bringing this team back, the offensive line is also dealing with injuries, and there’s no cohesion with the group. Winston and McCoy, for example, failed to pick up multiple blitzes by Carolina that resulted in a turnover and several sacks.

Now, 1-2 isn’t the worst place to be and I’m sure there were a few “Come to Jesus” meetings on that long flight to London, but the Saints know that if they don’t start producing now, it’s going to be a long 14-game stretch from now until January.

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