New Orleans Saints versus Carolina: 4 Panthers that can ruin Week 2

New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints have their hands full with the Panthers in Week 2.

Don’t underestimate the New Orleans Saints this season, but don’t overestimate them either.

After cruising to victory against the Packers last week, the Saints face the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. Given their rivalry (the name Jeremy Shockey comes to mind), this could get ugly.

The Carolina Panthers have played New Orleans more than any other team in its history, but recent history has strongly favored the Saints: the Panthers have a 1-5 record against NOLA in the past three seasons.

What changed this year, and what hasn’t?

In 2021, we witnessed the changing of the quarterback guard for both teams: Jameis Winston for Drew Brees and Sam Darnold for Teddy Bridgewater. We think Winston is much better at slinging it in Payton’s new offense than Darnold is in Rhule’s, but don’t expect another 5-TD performance. We’ve been checking our watches, and Winston is due for a pick anytime soon.

Still, some things have stayed the same. Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey haven’t aged one bit and will live long after their careers when their respective marble monuments get built outside their stadiums.

With plenty of variables at play (Who gets more TE snaps for NOLA? Can Carolina’s O-line protect CMC?) this game poses some exciting matchups that will make fantasy football managers salivate.

Carolina is fresh off a win in a “Sam Darnold revenge game” against the Jets.

New Orleans just clobbered Green Bay, sending Rodgers and his band of cheeseheads packing.

Recent news of the Saints’ coaches’ Covid-19 outbreak or the Saints’ defensive setbacks shouldn’t be too worrisome heading into Week 2. This Sunday, the two teams come head to head for what we hope to be a very entertaining game (and another victory for the Saints).

New Orleans no doubt has their playbook ready to go, but this game could come down to these four Panthers’ performances.