clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Week 2 Schedule Breakdown: Carolina Panthers

How will Saints fare against a vastly improved Carolina team?

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In Week 2, the New Orleans Saints will travel up to Charlotte to face their rivaled Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. At first glance, this game looks to be an incredible matchup for two very improved divisional opponents with new signal callers at the helm.

Carolina should be looking to start their first overall pick Bryce Young at the start of the year, while the Saints are welcoming former Raider Derek Carr to lead the charge.

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images and Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Offensively the teams compare well, although there is uncertainty on both sides but for different reasons. The Panthers have an entirely new encore with the offseason additions of WRs Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark and Jonathan Mingo, TE Hayden Hurst and Pro Bowl running back Miles Sanders. A much-improved unit from a year ago. The Saints on the other hand are running it back with their top three WRs Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, TEs Juwan Johnson and newly acquired Foster Moreau and an especially strong group of RBs with Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams and third round pick Kendre Miller.

And oh... the jack-of-all-trades Taysom Hill.

When analyzing these dynamic groups, the thing that separates the two is familiarity and health. The Panthers top playmakers have had zero snaps with each other on offense. Not saying they won’t be successful, but it is something to consider especially with a rookie QB under center. The Saints, however, have a different issue and that’s injuries. If this group is able to stay healthy for most of the season, we're talking about a legitimate top three NFC team. But that just hasn’t been the case the last couple seasons.

When it comes to this matchup, being that it is so early in the season, I would give the Saints an edge offensively because of these reasons. The Panthers may have to go through to growing pains while they build continuity, while the Saints shouldn’t have an injury issue in only the second week of the season.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports and Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers and Saints each come forth with strong units. The Panthers come into this season with a ton of young talent composed of guys like Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, Jaycee Horn, Jeremy Chinn and Frank Luvu. A fast and physical bunch who are still growing into their own. Saints come in with an almost entirely new defensive line in which they invested heavily in this year's draft as well replacing their losses in free agency. Those moves should ultimately boost the performance of the defense as a whole. The rest of the group remains the same and we should expect the steadiness from them.

In this matchup, I believe both units will have their fair share of blows. I think the Saints could struggle to pass protect at times with the way the Panthers attack with inside and outside blitz pressure, especially with a young OT in Trevor Penning. They are also very opportunistic when it comes to turnovers, so it is imperative that the Saints find a way to protect the football. As for the Saints, the intriguing part of last season is that didn’t seen a lot of Marshon Lattimore and Alontae Taylor on the field together. This along with Paulson Adebo and Bradley Roby should allow the Saints to thrive against heavy three receiver sets. I also believe that the Saints ability to get pressure will be huge also and I think they will. Being that Bryce Young is only 5’10, the Saints should be able to create pressure by getting into his throwing lanes, bat some balls down and hopefully create turnovers.

Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel