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Saints vs. Panthers Game Recap

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By: Lucas Loffredo

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Inconsistencies carry over from last week but so did the potential.

It was another ugly win for the New Orleans Saints on Monday night in Charlotte where they defeated their division rival Carolina Panthers 20-17.

The Saints continued their struggles to find consistency on offense, specifically through the air. Derek Carr seemed to still be finding his footing in this offense as he was held without a touchdown pass in this game. Carr and the offense started to put together some drives early but ended up stalling, not being able to find a rhythm for much of the game.

The red zone was another issue early in the game where they could not seem to get the ball in through the air. The offensive line still had issues in pass protection in this game, allowing four sacks, and didn’t hold up well against blitz pressure. On the positive side, the Saints did run the ball effectively at times and didn’t shy away from it.

Taysom Hill made his presence known after Jamaal Williams left the game with an injury. Hill was extremely effective carrying the ball 9 times for 75 yards on the night. Tony Jones Jr. also came in and surprised us by scoring the team’s only touchdowns in the game. The other positive was the team’s ability to connect on the deep ball once again. Chris Olave (6 rec. 86 yards) and Rashid Shaheed (4 rec. 63 yards) each hauled in 40+ yard receptions to help punch in their two scores of the night. It is clear that this receiving group along with Michael Thomas (7 rec. 55 yards) who also had a solid day, can be explosive if they can find consistency at some point in the year.

On the defensive side, it couldn’t get any better. The team had gone seven straight quarters without allowing a touchdown before they let off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter.

A truly stellar performance.

The defense as a whole collected four sacks in this game, with Maye, Davis, Granderson, and Shepard each with one. Granderson’s sack also forced a fumble which the Saints did recover. The Panthers were only allowed 239 yards of offense and were 4-14 on third down which was indicative of another stifling day for the team. The unit was able to get pressure for most of the day and tight coverage making it very tough on rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Against the run, they were just as effective holding running back Miles Sanders to just 43 yards on 14 carries as the Panthers leading rusher.

A complete win by the defense.

This game marks the 10th consecutive game where the Saint’s defense has allowed 20 or fewer points dating back to last season.

On special teams, kicker Blake Grupe was once again perfect going 2/2 on his field goal attempts as well as his extra points. Punter Lou Hedley had a rough moment or two early on in the game but settled in landing two kicks inside the 20-yard line.

Final thoughts for this game?

A win is a win, and the Saints are 2-0, but this team is playing nowhere near their potential offensively. Some of the play calling has been questionable as well as the offensive line and worrisome quarterback play. However, it is only week two and there is still time to work out the kinks. They get a chance to do just this on Sunday in Green Bay where they have the opportunity to start 3-0 and get things going.

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Originally posted on Canal Street Chronicles – All Posts

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