NFL Week Three Match Up: Saints at Panthers

NFL Week Three Match Up: Saints at Panthers

After struggling on both sides of the ball in their first two games, the Saints (1-2) finally managed to play a strong full-team game and were in control for the majority of the afternoon.

The Saints ran 27 times for 149 yards. The 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback has led the National Football League in passing for three straight seasons and already has 647 yards this season with three touchowns and no interceptions.

"I feel like if I play better the outcome is different", Newton said.

The majority of the time, when either the offense or the defense makes this list, it falls under the sub-heading of "The passing defense", or "The rushing offense".

There is no question that the Carolina Panthers wanted to get the team's top running backs, Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey, involved early.

In another hard-fought game, make it Panthers 28, Saints 24. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin suffered a knee injury against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and didn't return to the game which isn't a good sign considering his injury history.

The Saints revamped their defense in the offseason in hopes of improvement, but it's an understatement to say that hasn't happened. He was better last week against the Buffalo Bills, completing 20 of 32 passes for 228 yards with no touchdowns and no picks, but he never lead anything more than field goal drives.

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It's been a rough start for the Saints on defense as they've surrendered 65 points over their first two games.

Brees has thrown for 1,252 yards and 12 touchdowns with three interceptions in his last four games against the Panthers.

Newton threw three interceptions and seldom threw downfield during a disspiriting loss to New Orleans.

The Saints, 1-2, play the Dolphins in London next Sunday.

DICKSON A NONFACTOR: Ed Dickson replaced Olsen at tight end for the Panthers, but was a nonfactor in the passing game.

Stat of the game: Newton's 43.8 passer rating is the third worst of his career. The Saints cut a 20-3 first-quarter deficit to 20-13 on a Brandon Coleman touchdown reception.

Even with Olsen, the Panthers had trouble scoring, averaging just 16.0 points in wins against San Francisco (23-3) and Buffalo (9-3).

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