Here comes Week 2 of the New Orleans Saints season, bringing Saints vs Panthers tickets and the chance for redemption. The problem is that both New Orleans and the Carolina Panthers will be seeking the same objective, their first win of the 2012 NFL season.
There are plenty of reasons for Saints fans to be concerned here. Not panicked but concerned and here are a few.
1) The Saints offensive line looked abysmal in the Redskins game. Drew Brees was under constant pressure and had little time to set up and throw. Losing Carl Nicks may be a bigger deal than we thought if things don’t tighten up. What’s just as disturbing is the fact that the offensive line was called repeatedly for false starts and holding, an indication of poor coaching and lack of discipline.
2) Tied into this is a non-existent running game. With Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Darren Sproles on the roster, running the ball should be no problem. Currently New Orleans is ranked 29th in rushing yards after being in the top last season.
3) Steve Spagnuolo’s defense depends on good pressure from the front four lineman. We didn’t get it against the Redskins. The mobility of R3 killed us as he was able to move about and buy time. Cam Newton is fully capable of doing the same things.
Now for the Brighter Side
1)The Carolina Panthers aren’t in much better shape this week. The Buccaneers pounded Cam Newton all day and he reacted very badly, becoming pretty obviously upset by being hit. If the D-Line or linebackers can put the smash on him once or twice the Saints could get him rattled.
2) I can’t remember any time in recent history when the New Orleans Saints offense put together poor performances in back to back weeks. I expect the pressure will be on from Drew Brees on down to get something going in Carolina.
3) The Panthers offensive line showed some weaknesses against Tampa Bay, meaning the New Orleans defensive line has a chance to redeem itself at their expense.
Recent history indicates that the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers will probably put on a good show but that New Orleans pretty much owns Cam Newton at this point. Brees has generally had a hot hand, completing over 70% of his passes. Look for Jimmy Graham and Colston to work the secondary and bigger doses of the running game than you saw last week as Pete Carmichael tries to take some pressure off of his quarterback.