Thanks for checking out my preview of the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. In this preview I will give the keys for the Panthers to defeat the Saints.
The biggest key for the Panthers to beat the Saints is for Carolina to limit penalties and turnovers. So far this season the Panthers have been in every game but tend to stall in the “Red Zone” or commit a penalty. The Panthers need to limit the mistakes against this Saints team that can outscore anyone.
The running game looked better against the Bears last week and needs to against the Saints as well. The more time the ball is in Cam Newton’s hands and not Drew Brees, the better for Carolina.
Darren Sproles scares the heck out of me both as a runner and a returner. The Panthers struggle to stop the run and also returns on special teams. Jermale Hines and Antwan Applewhite were added to the roster mostly to help special teams. Sean Considine and George Selvie were released to make room.
The Panthers currently rank third in total offense and also in passing but 17th in rushing the ball. The Panthers defense ranks 14th in yards given up per game. Unfortunately the Panthers rank 31st in run defense but do rank sixth in passing defense despite all the injuries.
Carolinawill welcome Chris Gamble back from a concussion but may lose Jeremy Shockey to the same condition for the Saints game. Other than that the Panthers are fairly healthy heading into this game.
The Panthers staff must try to slow the game down for Cam Newton. Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams will be showing all kinds of fake looks to try to confuse the rookie quarterback. I do think the Panthers offense will be able to move the ball against the Saints.
The Saints offense under Drew Brees will be trying to run more to take advantage of the young defensive line of Carolina. The fact that Thomas Davis and Jon Beason are out for the year isn’t helping the suspect run defense.
To sum up my preview of the New Orleans Saints at the Carolina Panthers game, I expect a shootout! Steve Smith has found the fountain of youth and is the best receiver in the game for either team. I expect him to produce in a huge way but I fear the Saints offense will be too much this week.