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Week Three Saints @ Panthers Recap

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The Panthers are not a good football team, sadly this version of the New Orleans Saints is not either. Penalties, fumbles and generally sloppy play all led to the Saints losing 22-14 in Charlotte yesterday. Quarter by quarter lets see where it all went so badly wrong.

First Quarter

The Panthers started with the ball and the first play foreshadowed what was to come on some of the Panthers biggest plays on offense. A missed tackle. McCaffrey should have been bottled up for a minimal gain, instead rumbled for 14 yards. (PFF credited the Saints defense with 11 missed tackles on the day).

That was it really for this drive, Demario Davis sacked a scrambling Mayfield setting up a third and long, which the Panthers could not convert. After Mayfield and Anderson weren’t on the same page, this was also Paulson Adebo’s first snap of the season and applied solid coverage on the play.

The Saints offense took over at their own 11- yard line. Some more foreshadowing took place on the first play of this drive. The snap went wrong, it went down as a Winston fumble, he did pick it up and run for six-yards but this was just the start of the offense’s sloppy execution.

Sadly, this was one of the offenses better drives, the next play Kamara scampered for 27 yards. Winston completed two nice timing throws to Michael Thomas and the offense looked like there could be some life.

Then some of that sloppiness came back, a false start by Adam Trautman and a weak Chop Block penalty on Mark Ingram took the Saints from second and two on the Panthers 33 to third and 20 on the Saints 49. The chop block penalty was even worse because it wiped out and excellent catch by Michael Thomas that would have given the Saints a fresh set of downs in the RedZone.

Instead the Saints had to punt.

The Panthers went three and out quickly giving the Saints decent field position on their own 30. Helped even more by an unnecessary roughness penalty, giving them a fresh set of downs near midfield. Then the sadness began, Alvin Kamara was stripped, and the Panthers returned it for a TD. This was Kamara’s first fumble since 2020.

The next three Saints offensive possessions amassed a grand total of 9 plays for 8 yards. Led on one drive by two offensive dead ball fouls in a row and Winston not reading the field well.

Second Quarter

The Panthers grinded out a ten-play 40-yard drive which was completed early in the second quarter. Putting them up 10-0. This was a fairly solid drive by the Panthers. Pete Werner, who again looked like the best player maybe outside of Marshon Lattimore on the Saints defense was everywhere this game and was really good on this drive. Justin Evans also made two good stops in four plays. One for a loss on a screen and one for no gain in the running game.

The Panthers added another field goal later in the quarter generally because of the running game. Watching it live it looked like the Saints had this bottle up for the most part, upon review that wasn’t really the case.

The misery and false hope for Saints fans continued. Jameis Winston finally hit on a deep bomb to Chris Olave, who made a great play at the catch point to reel it in. The 49-yard gain had the Saints in business on the Carolina 18. Another nice quick pass to Olave got them to nearly inside the 10. A drop by Kamara on second down and a poor pass from Winston on third. He had Kamara wide open in front of him, instead choosing to throw an incompletion to Landry that was nowhere near him. This left the Saints with a short field goal try to get on the board. Which in true Saints style was blocked.

So, the best drive of the game came up empty for the Saints, who were shut out again in the first half.  Down 13-0 which at this stage felt like 30-0.

Third Quarter

The second half started with the Saints receiving the kick-off. Again, the Saints were penalised, this time a hold during the return. The Saints had to start at their own 16. With the way the offense was playing starting from there felt like 84 miles, rather than 84 yards.

The offense did put together a nice drive though. Started by two nice runs to Kamara, Jameis completed passes to Landry, Thomas, Olave and Tre’Quan on this drive. The pass to Landry wasn’t a great throw by Winston, Landry had to go low and twist to make the catch because the pass was behind him. This caused him to injure his foot/ankle and be out the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, the drive stalled once getting to the RedZone. The Saints struggles with the Blitz continued. On second down the blitz nearly got home, which made Winston throw the ball quicker than he wanted and he looked like he had Kamara on a wheel if he had a smidge longer to let the play develop.

On Third down the Panthers had Jeremy Chinn lined up at the line of scrimmage, no disguise and he just ran untouched to Winston for a huge sack which pushed the Saints all the way back to the 30 meaning it was now a 48-yard attempt. This blitz wasn’t exotic it wasn’t disguised. Winston needed to change the play to something where he could have got the ball out quickly, not a play that was 5/7 step drop. By the time he got to the end of his drop he was sacked.

That sack was huge, the extra distance meant Will Lutz missed it, pushed it wide right. The kick would have been good from closer. Now both times the Saints offense did something it ended in a special team’s error meaning no points. Those six points lost were huge later on.

On the other side of the ball the Saints defense was keeping them afloat, turning the Panthers over on downs, with a nice pass breakup by Demario Davis on fourth down.

Third/Fourth Quarter

Two punts followed, before the Saints offense finally put together a complete drive, two catches each for Chris Olave and Tre’Quan Smith, the Saints marched down the field, 10 plays- 89 yards, capped by a 5-yard TD run by Mark Ingram. This cut the Panthers lead to six points with 12:31 left in fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The next two series were the dagger for New Orleans, first up the Panthers offense. Two plays 67-yards touchdown. The Saints defense finally caved under the pressure the offense had put on them. Two bad missed tackles, first by P.J. Williams, the second by Tyrann Mathieu. Laviska Shenault JR. went 67 yards for a TD on a play he should have been stopped for a minimal gain by two different Saints defenders.

Next series, Winston interception from a tipped pass. Great catch by the big man Derrick Brown though! Always have a soft spot for big guy interceptions. The interception gave the Panthers a short field which allowed them to tack on another field goal.

At this stage the 15 points score difference was too big overcome. The Saints did manage another touchdown, after two great plays on deep balls by Chris Olave and Tre’Quan Smith. Finished off by an amazing catch in the endzone by Marquez Callaway, Callaway did bail Winston out though, he should have never thrown the pass.

Marquez Callaway One-Handed TD Catch – YouTube

The Panthers managed to run out enough of the clock leaving the Saints just 17 seconds to try and score, that was made impossible after Johnny Hekker produced an excellent punt, meaning the Saints would have had to have gone 99 yards in 17 seconds with no timeouts. Winston heaved one downfield which was intercepted.

Thus, ending a very painful watch for all Saints fans and for the Saints organisation who then had to take the long flight to London ready for their game this weekend against the Vikings @ Spurs stadium.


Defense did more than enough to win this game, the offense and special teams just kept shooting themselves in the foot. The offense can’t sustain drives and when it does something seems to go wrong to mean no points.

What’s more frustrating about this offense, is they have the talent, all the WR’s today looked excellent the execution of the offense right now is just simply poor. Penalties, fumbles, uninspiring play caller (at times) and Winston not seeing the field well.

It can’t continue otherwise this is going to be a long and wasted season. Ending in the Eagles having a juicy high first round draft pick (YIKES).

I will be previewing of all and recapping all the New Orleans Saints games this season on New Orleans Saints – Full10Yards

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the rest throughout the season, I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about.

I want to create as much of a UK Saints community as possible, so follow me on Twitter @SaintsReportUK, for much more Saints content and discussion

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Saints @ Panthers Week Three Preview; Key Matchups And More

Neither team had the result they wanted in week two. The Saints fell to Tom Brady’s refs…… I mean Bucs and Carolina lost to an average New York Giants squad (Despite what their record says).

That leaves two teams with a lot to prove heading into to week three and a matchup that both teams need to win.

I’m going to highlight 3 key matchups. who’s playing and who’s not? and of course a score prediction for the game.

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After two games both teams could easily have different records. New Orleans sit at 1-1. If not for a miraculous fourth quarter comeback in week one they’d be 0-2.  If not for a fourth quarter meltdown in week two they very well could be 2-0. 1-1 feels right so far for a team that have struggled to string together more than one consistent quarter of football, where all three sides of the ball play well and complement each other.

The Panthers have lost two games by a total of five points. They nearly produced a Saints like fourth quarter comeback week one against the Browns if not for a late field goal. Then fell to the Giants after being tied for most of the game.

Both Teams need to find an identity, this not unusual early in the season but this is especially true of the Saints. Are they are run first team, that want to hit the play action bombs off of that kind of team? Are they the quick rhythm, short throws and get the ball in your playmaker’s hands kind of team? It doesn’t seem like they know, but they need work it out quickly.

The Saints lead this series three games to one since Matt Rhule has been the Panthers HC. Those games were all of course under the watch of former Saints HC Sean Payton. Can new HC Dennis Allen keep that good form going? Here’s some of the matchups the Saints need to be on the right side off.

Key Matchups

Panther LB Blitz Vs Saints Pass Protection

The first Panthers matchup last season was a shambles for the Saints. Carolina blitzed them over and over, the Saints couldn’t handle it.  So much so former NFL o-lineman and Twitter legend Brian Baldinger was mystified at how the Panthers ran the same blitz three plays in a row because the Saints couldn’t block it.

Brian Baldinger criticizes Saints’ offensive line miscues vs. Panthers (

Now, why am I bringing up a meaningless game from last season? Well, the Saints have struggled with the Blitz again this year. In both games so far, we’ve seen Winston sacked by blitzing LBs who were not picked up by the Saints o-line. Two examples here:

Atlanta Falcons week 1 SACK compilation | Highlights | Saints vs. Falcons – YouTube (54 seconds in)

Jayden on Twitter: “First sack of the day comes on a perfectly executed coffeehouse stunt by Lavonte David. Ram bites on the fake – sack” / Twitter

Panthers DC Phil Snow has shown he’s willing to attack your weaknesses and keep attacking them until you prove you can stop them. The Saints did improve in this area week two, but it was still a problem and id expect the Panthers to try and exploit it.

This can’t be a consistent problem for the Saints on Sunday; these plays kill drives and kill your QB. Jameis Winston has four fractures in his back and can’t keep taking shots from free rushers running full speed.

McCaffrey Vs Saints LBs

The Saints secondary should match up well against the Panthers WRs and TE’s. Christian McCaffrey is the x factor.

He’s had an unusually quiet start to the season in the passing game through two games he has only eight catches for 50 yards. Compare that to the first two games of last season his usage in this area is way down. At this stage last season, he had over three times the yards (154) and nearly twice the number of catches (15).

In those games last season, the Panthers were 2-0. This year with McCaffrey’s reduced role in the passing game they are 0-2.

You have to think this usage is something they want to rectify as it’s a proven winning formular.

The matchup they want for McCaffrey is against a LB. The Saints do have the LBs that could hold up in this matchup. Per PFF Pete Werner has a 82.4 coverage grade good for 7th in the league among LBs. Demario Davis ranks 13th with a 76.2 grade.

These Saints LB’s will need to continue this good form on Sunday for the Saints to come out on top.

Davenport Vs ‘ICKY’

Will this finally be the week that Davenport takes over a game? I feel like it has to be. He will primarily be lining up against rookie LT Ikem Ekwonu, who, to put it bluntly has not played well so far.

Ewonu is rated as PFF’s 64th LT out of 65 and has given up 3 sacks and 7 total pressures in the 2 games so far. This should be a matchup Davenport can win and win well.

Davenport and the rest of the Saints rush should have enough time to get to the QB this week. Baker Mayfield’s average time to throw per PFF is 2.89 seconds that’s 0.6 seconds slower than Tom Brady last week and ranks him as the 11th slowest thrower in the league.  9th slowest if you only include starters. It may not sound a lot but that is difference between a pressure and a sack.

If Brady didn’t get the ball out so quickly last week, then I think Davenport would have impacted the game a lot more the stats sheet. He had one QB hit and one QB hurry, which isn’t bad considering how quickly Brady got the ball out.

This Is the week for Davenport to announce himself and show he’s a rising star in the league.

State of the Rosters

It looks like both teams will be close to full strength this week. Despite a lot of Saints players being listed as ‘Limited’ this week, there doesn’t seem to be much concern about them not playing on Sunday.

Saints hope to have training camp MVP Paulson Adebo suit up for first time this season. Allowing Bradley Roby to move into the slot, this was the role the Saints wanted for him after trading C.J. Gardner Johnson. This could be even more important if Marcus Maye can’t play, with Roby in the slot that would free up Justin Evans to cover some of the Maye’s snaps at safety along with P.J. Williams.

Sadly after sustaining a Knee injury in Thursday’s practice rookie Alontae Taylor isn’t going to be able to build on this strong performance last week against Tampa. He is out for Sundays game.

There was a scare earlier in the week for Carolina when McCaffery was added to the report with an Ankle injury. He will play on Sunday per multiple reports and is carrying no injury designation for the game. Donte Jackson was also a concern for Carolina and is questionable but practised full on Friday which is usually a sign he will play.

Score Prediction

This is a big game for both teams, the Panthers must win if they want to have any chance at making the playoffs. The Saints really need a boost before heading off to London for week 4 and really don’t need another division loss on their record.

It should be a get right game for two of New Orleans struggling units. The offensive passing game and the pash rush.

I think we see a better offensive showing this week, but still not perfect. With Winston having a much more consistent game passing with more rhythm. Maybe not consistent for all four quarters as he’s still working his way through his back injury.

The Saints continue where they left off last week and dominate the running game with Alvin Kamara back and leading the charge.

Then the pass rush finally shows some life and registers 3+ sacks on the day.

Score- 26-16 Saints win

I will be previewing and recapping of all the New Orleans Saints games this season on New Orleans Saints – Full10Yards

Please let me know your feedback on this article and the others throughout the season, I’m always looking to improve and add things that people want to read about!

I want to try and create as much of a UK Saints community as possible, so follow me on Twitter @SaintsReportUK, for much more Saints content and discussion.

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Five Things: Week 2 – Carolina Panthers at New York Giants

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For the first time since 2016, the Giants have started the season 2-0! It was by no means pretty, but a win is a win. Here are five things that stood out.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

When you win a game most of the time, you can assume it was because your team was a well-oiled machine and that all of the offense, defense, and special teams contributed. Well, for the Giants, that is not the case at all.

Watching the offence overall was not enjoyable outside of the touchdown drive. In the first half, the Giants had a total of 60 yards offensively, of which they had 0 rushing yards, and it could have been worse as a poor Daniel Jones pass went straight to Panthers Linebacker Frankie Luvu, who thankfully was unable to secure the catch. Luckily, in the second half, they flashed a few promising signs, including an 8-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was the perfect response to Carolina’s own touchdown drive.

The defence did play well but were aided by Baker Mayfield’s erratic and often off-target throws. Outside of the touchdown drive and the three field goals, the Giants held the Panthers to an average of 12.6 yards per drive and an abysmal 2 conversions off 12 attempts on third down, but more about that later.

Field Goals? It’s Gano Problem

When your offence struggles, you need to take advantage of any and every opportunity you can get for points, and luckily for us, we have Graham Gano. Across the previous two years that he has been with the Giants, he has a 92.3% field goal conversion rate on 65 attempts and a 95.1% extra point conversion rate on 41 attempts.

The ex-Carolina Panther walked out five times to try and score points against his previous team, and not once was there any doubt that he would make every kick count. After the Panthers coughed up two fumbles to begin the game, Gano would make it 6-0 to the Giants after making kicks from the 33 and 36-yard lines. He would then make his lone extra point attempt in the third quarter before rounding out his perfect day with two field goals in the fourth quarter, one from 51 yards and what would be the game winner from 56 yards.

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Third Down Defense

As mentioned in the first point, the Giants’ defence held the Panthers to a lowly 2 conversions off 12 attempts, and the biggest reason why is Wink Martindale’s aggression, which was mostly executed perfectly by the personnel on the field, and bear in mind that this is a unit without standout Edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari.

The Giants swarmed Baker Mayfield time and time again, giving him little time to think and forcing him to panic. Of the ten attempts that the Panthers failed on, they had one penalty, one fumble, one sack, two short of the first down marker, and five incompletions. These were mostly caused by the constant blitzing from Wink, which at one point saw four safeties on the field, three of them on the line of scrimmage.

X-Factor Ximines

Oshane Ximines started his Giants career relatively well, recording 4.5 sacks, but he quickly fell out of favour with both the Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge regimes and was touted as a probable cut candidate throughout the offseason. However, Brian Daboll allowed him a fresh start and took advice from Wink Martindale and Drew Wilkins, who were both impressed with his work.

Ximines impressed them both so much that, due to the injuries to Thibodeaux and Ojulari, he was listed as a starter on the depth chart for the season opener, and he hasn’t looked out of place. He started the season against the Tennessee Titans by continuing his preseason success, and he’s followed it up with a stellar showing against the Panthers that has earned him a game ball.

He finished the game with a stat line of two tackles, one tackle for a loss, 1 pass defended, 1 Quarterback hit, and 1 sack, but in real time he seemed to be everywhere.

Big Play Rookies

When Dane Belton fractured his clavicle making an interception during preseason practise, there was an audible sigh from the Giants fanbase. The rookie safety had impressed both coaches and fans alike, but now he could be on the sidelines for up to eight weeks. Belton took to the field for his first ever NFL play seven weeks and a day later and walked off with the ball after recovering the fumbled kickoff that was caused by Carter Coughlin.

Belton wasn’t the only rookie that had a big contribution in the game, though. After not registering a catch in his first ever NFL game a week ago, Daniel Bellinger finally got his first one during the game against the Panthers. With the Giants needing to answer the Panthers’ third quarter touchdown, Bellinger secured the pass from Daniel Jones, sprinted towards the endzone and dove in to tie the game once again.