The Carolina Panthers look to go 3-0 in this Sunday’s NFC South showdown against the New Orleans Saints inside Bank of America Stadium. Carolina is coming off a 9-3 win over the Buffalo Bills in last Sunday’s home opener, in a game that saw tight end Greg Olsen suffer a broken foot, meaning that he will be out for 6-8 weeks, and now it’s a “Next Man Up” situation in the tight end game for Carolina. The Saints meanwhile are 0-2 as they suffered a loss of their own at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Week 2, and with Week 3 right around the corner, Sean Payton’s team is desperate for a win. Here’s three of the things that we should watch for in Sunday’s game.
Who will step up at tight end in Olsen’s absence?: With Olsen out 6-8 weeks, it is now “Next Man Up” for the Panthers in their tight end game, and it could mean that Ed Dickson could get some time in Olsen’s absence, hoping to make a name for himself in Greg’s absence until he returns.
Will this be the week the Panthers offense puts some points on the board?: In Week 1, Carolina did found the end zone a few times, but in last Sunday’s game, the defense had to do a bulk of the work, while Graham Gano would generate all the offensive scoring the Panthers needed in the win. We need to see a lot more offensive action in Sunday’s game out of the offense for the Panthers, and that means scoring early and scoring often to get a nice enough lead to maintain during the game on Sunday, and we also want to see Cam Newton get into the game as well on the passing and rushing side of the game as well.
Can the Panthers defense continue to be the talk of the NFL in the early portion of the season?: In the first two weeks of the season, Carolina’s defense has been holding their opponents to a total 6 points, and they’re currently in the top tier in the NFL in defense entering Week 3. We want the Panthers defense to continue to do what they have been doing so far after the first 2 games of the season, and as the old saying goes, “Defense wins Championships”, and with the way Carolina’s defense has been so far, the defense could have another strong game this week.