I spoke last week on just how impressive the Carolina Panthers’ defense was looking. It looks like I may have spoken too soon as the New Orleans Saints knocked the Carolina Panthers from the ranks of the unbeaten, cruising to a 34-13 victory in Charlotte.
Leading to my having second thoughts is the fact that the Panthers finally encountered a legitimate passing attack after becoming the first defense since 1981 to allow three points or fewer in each of the season’s first two games.
Drew Brees and Michael Thomas picked apart Carolina’s secondary. Outstanding against the anemic 49ers and Bills, the defense surrendered big plays to Thomas, Ted Ginn, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Brees produced his highest passer rating since last November. And this was going on while the Saints pounded out 149 more yards on the ground.
Actually, what should worry Carolina fans more is Cam Newton and the Panthers offense.
Facing a porous Saints defense that had allowed a staggering 88% completion rate on passes of 15 or more yards over the season’s first two weeks, Newton generated a minuscule 43.8 passer rating with three interceptions in one of the worst performances of his career. Newton never looked comfortable from the opening possession, as the Panthers leaned even heavier than normal on the ground attack. It became quite evident that head coach Ron Rivera had little faith in his quarterback as the game progressed. Once the game was out of reach, Derek Anderson came on to replace Newton near the five-minute mark in the fourth quarter.
The home loss reminded me of last season and that is not a good vision for Carolina followers.
Upset Week In The NFL
In a rarity, half of the underdogs coming out of Vegas won their games outright last week.
That is a lot of upsets and it shook up the league.
One of the upsets was Tennessee running all over Seattle. And the Titans did most of their damage in the second half as they rushed for 165 yards alone in the second half while pulling away with 24 second half points.
Minnesota upset Tampa Bay and did it with a second string quarterback in Case Keenum. Rookie Dalvin Cook also stood out in the contest.
Jacksonville destroyed Baltimore and are now 2-1 after being the joke of preseason football. Speaking of jokes, quarterback Joe Flacco threw for just 28 yards against the Jags.
Even the New York Jets won, which has to make you wonder about Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins.
Drew Brees & Ryan Worley last Sunday