Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill may still be in therapy after how the New Orleans Saints’ defense tortured him last week. Tannehill was intercepted three times by a capable Saints’ secondary, and the New Orleans Saints was able to sack him three times. Having such a ferocious attack is an excellent skill for the Saints to hang their hats on while Derek Carr acclimates at quarterback.
The Carolina Panthers got No. 1 pick Bryce Young some experience at quarterback last week. While there is an expectation that Young will have plenty of growing pains during his rookie season, Carolina’s offense struggled in all facets during their season-opening loss to Atlanta.
Both teams will be looking to take another step forward as the NFC South Division race starts to find its legs early in the season. Carolina has some challenging injury issues that make developing Young difficult. The Panthers hope to patch things up on the offensive line and get everything on track.
Saints and Panthers Have a Tight Rivalry
The New Orleans Saints will be 3-point favorites when they take on the Saints in a 7:16 p.m. kickoff Monday at Bank of America Stadium. The New Orleans Saints have a 29-28 lead in the all-time series. Carolina has found a lot of success against the Saints recently.
The Panthers swept the two meetings between the teams last season, winning 22-14 at home and 10-7 on the road. Carolina has won three of the past four games in the series.
Panthers Add Another Cornerback to the Mix
Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn injured his hamstring during the Panthers’ season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Panthers coach Frank Reich said that Horn will miss significant time and may require surgery to fix the injury. Carolina added cornerback Sam Webb of the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad to add more depth.
Horn has struggled with injuries during his three seasons in the league. Horn only played in three games as a rookie and intercepted a pass. During the 2022 season, Horn recorded seven passes defenses and intercepted three passes but was limited to 13 games.
Carr Helps Balance New Orleans Saints Offense
The Raiders and Saints both won similar defensive slugfests in Week 1. One former Las Vegas quarterback, Derek Carr, came to the Saints to be their starting quarterback after falling out of favor with Raiders coach Josh McDaniels last season. With Saints running back Alvin Kamara serving a three-game suspension, New Orleans needed a veteran presence under center to help keep the offense steady.
Carr was able to be efficient with a lack of running game. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown. One big positive from the game was that Carr connected well with wide receiver Chris Olave. Olave finished with a team-high eight catches for 112 yards. Rashid Shaheed also caught five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Young Got His Wake-Up Call
Young had many questions about coming out of Alabama and into the NFL. Some people believed that Young was too small to handle the ferocity of professional football. In Week 1, Young had difficulty adjusting to the game’s speed.
Young completed 20 of 38 passes. He did throw one touchdown pass but also had two passes intercepted. He finished with 146 passing yards. Young threw his first touchdown pass to tight end Hayden Hurst. Hurst nearly lost a souvenir for Young.
Hurst threw the ball into the stands after the touchdown. Carolina backup quarterback Andy Dalton immediately went over to acquire the ball for Young.
New Orleans Saints’ Defense Has a lot of Playmakers
New Orleans wants to keep putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Saints had three different players — Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, and Marcus Maye — intercept passes but also excelled in the red zone. It was the first time the Saints had three interceptions in a game since a Sept. 26, 2021, game against New England.
Lattimore had the challenge of covering Tennessee Titans receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins has a long history of success, including being selected as All-Pro five times. Lattimore was able to limit Hopkins to seven catches on 13 targets. New Orleans prevented Tennessee from scoring touchdowns during three trips inside the 20-yard line.
Veteran Running Back Helps Panthers with Consistency
The Panthers brought in Miles Sanders from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason. While Carolina’s offense struggled to move the ball, Sanders was able to find a way to take the pressure off of Young at times. Sanders finished with 72 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Sanders caught six passes for 26 yards. As the season goes along, Sanders and second-year Carolina running back Chuba Hubbard should be able to form a potent tandem. Hubbard was also able to gain 60 yards rushing on nine carries.
Grupe Makes Strong Debut
The Saints were happy that their rookie placekicker Blake Grupe, who played collegiately at Notre Dame, was able to make such a strong impact. During Grupe’s debut, he made all three of his field goal attempts to become the first Saints kicker in history to make three field goals during his debut. Grupe made a long field goal of 52 yards. Grupe was also successful at kickoffs as well. All five of them went for touchbacks.
Christensen heads to IR
The Carolina Panthers’ offensive line is in shambles. The Panthers entered the season already without right guard Austin Corbett. Carolina also had to place left guard Brady Christensen on injured reserve this week. Christensen injured his bicep during a loss to Atlanta in the season opener.
The Panthers will compete with Cade Mays, Nash Jensen, and Justin McCray to take over at left guard. Both Christensen and Corbett were also injured last season for the Panthers. Corbett started this season on the physically unable-to-perform list, so he won’t be able to play until Week 5.