Panthers Offense vs Saints Defense
The Saints may have averaged 6.2 yards/play against the Panthers in Week 7, but Carolina averaged 6.6 yards/play against them.
They may go under-the-radar, but the Panthers have been productive offensively all season long. They’ve fallen off from a top-ten offense in yards/play to being ranked 16th, yet they overall have faced a difficult slate of defenses.
Teddy Bridgewater still ranks in the upper half of the league in yards/pass attempt, and a lot of the team’s passing production comes after the catch.
DJ Moore and Robby Anderson have both been extremely effective with the ball in their hands, and the duo combined for ten receptions, 167 yards, and two touchdowns when these two teams first faced off.
In other words, this won’t be an easy test for New Orleans. They have allowed the fourth-most yards per pass attempt in their past three games, and a lot of their problems have been dealing with perimeter speed.
Thus, Carolina may be able to score points against them.
The Panthers, however, are dealing with some issues on their offensive line, and are allowing the fourth-most sacks per play over their past three games.
They likely won’t have left tackle Russell Okung for this game, which could mean a major performance for their stout defensive front. Mainly, Trey Hendrickson and Marcus Davenport against a fifth-string left tackle is a great matchup for New Orleans to exploit.
The Panthers aren’t a team that runs the ball often, and with their offensive line dealing with injuries and them down to their third-string running back, there isn’t any reason for them to change that strategy against the Saints’ top-notch run defense.
Instead, a lot of early-down pass attempts should be in order.
Carolina is a smart offense that is going to make life tough for New Orleans. At the same time, they are also dealing with injuries right now, so if they are unsuccessful on early downs, they could be in trouble.
It will be fascinating to see how Bridgewater caps off his season with the Panthers potentially in a position to draft a quarterback in next year’s draft.