The NFL is officially back after a wild week one. The Saints take on a divisional rival in the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are looking to rebound after their week one performance. The Saints were able to squeak out a win against the Tennessee Titans, but the team has some things to clean up.
Carolina Panthers Preview
The Panthers are led by their Rookie QB, Bryce Young. Young played poorly in his debut game. He threw for 146 yards and a touchdown. The Alabama product threw two interceptions and had a 48.8 passer rating. He’ll look to rebound this week against the Saints.
The Panthers' receiving core is pretty average, and there is nobody that really scares me. While I like Jonathan Mingo, I don’t think this is the year he becomes a stud. The Panthers also have former Eagles HB Miles Sanders. The 26-year-old is an okay HB, but he is not someone who scares me. Overall, I think the Saints should have another solid defensive performance.
Switching sides of the ball the Panthers have two defensive studs in Brian Burns and Jaycee Horn. However, Horn will be inactive this week as he was injured in the Falcons game. Burns can cause havoc in all facets of the game. The 25-year-old already started off his season hot, recording 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. The Saints struggled tremendously last week against the Titans pass rush, so they’ll need to have a big game plan for Burns.
New Orleans Saints Preview
The Who Dat Nation probably wanted to see a more convincing win against the Tennessee Titans. But any win is a good win in the NFL. The Saints will need to work on some things if they want to beat the Carolina Panthers. The offensive line play has to be better. The entire unit struggled to protect QB Derek Carr.
Aggregated pass protection measures from 3 sources.— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) September 13, 2023
Honestly this mostly checks out, though the ratings for PIT are all over the place.
The teams with 100 in the "SIS" column are teams with zero charted blown blocks
(BUF/NYJ not shown bc no data yet) pic.twitter.com/HWBqjqnABB
Second-year LT Trevor Penning struggled the most out of anyone. He was credited with 12 blown blocks on passing attempts. No other player in the NFL had even close to ten blown blocks. If the struggles continue for Penning, he may need to be benched.
However, the poor offensive line didn’t stop the Saints receivers from having a great day. Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed absolutely shined in the win. Michael Thomas also had a nice day recording five catches for 65 yards. The Saints trio could become very dangerous if everyone can stay healthy.
On the other side of the ball, the defense looked amazing. They were constantly causing havoc, forcing Ryan Tannehill to throw three interceptions. This was refreshing as the Saints struggled last year to create turnovers. If the defense can keep the pedal to the metal, Panthers QB Bryce Young could be in for a long day.
Who will win the game?
The Saints should be the team taking the victory in this one. The Panthers are a fine team, but the Saints have more talent overall. With Jaycee Horn being out, the Panthers are extremely thin at cornerback.
The Saints offense should look to exploit this with their three-headed monster of Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, and Rashid Shaheed. The team should also take advantage of Bryce Young’s inexperience by applying a ton of pressure and throwing different looks at him.
If the Panthers want to win this game, they’ll need to control the time of possession. With Jaycee Horn out, they will need to keep the ball away from the Saints.
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