It was a tough loss for the Black and Gold last Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is a lot that has to be corrected before the Saints travel to Carolina to play the Panthers for their third divisional game to start the regular season. Here are five things to look out for in this Week 3 matchup:
1) HEALTH OF JAMEIS WINSTON:
Not only has Winston been dealing with four fractures in his back that have limited him the last couple of weeks in practice, but he is also dealing with an ankle injury as well. Based on his health, the Saints may try to have a conservative game plan and do just enough to try and get the win.
2)THE REFEREE CREW:
Carl Cheffers and his crew will be officiating the game on Sunday. During the 2021 season, Cheffers’ crew called an average of 14 penalties per game, which led the league.
3)CAN THE SAINTS’ DEFENSE AFFECT BAKER MAYFIELD:
There has been a lack of pressure by New Orleans through two games as defensive tackle Shy Tuttle has the team’s lone sack. Mayfield has been sacked six times thus far. The Saints need a jump start and get to the backfield early and often.
4)HOW DOES DENNIS ALLEN APPROACH THE PANTHERS:
DA last week coached super conservative at times and got too far away from the game plan too early. The defense needs to keep doing what they are doing but the offense needs to impose their will on the Panthers and establish the run. When there are opportunities to score, the Saints have to take advantage.
5)AMOUNT OF TURNOVERS:
The offense of the Saints turned it over five times against the Bucs last Sunday and Mayfield has a history of being prone to turning the ball over. The turnover battle often decides Saints and NFL games, so whoever protects the ball better will have a good chance of winning.
Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina is set for 12:00 p.m.