NFL Week 6 Preview: Panthers vs. Saints
The Panthers continue their path to a top 10 pick in the 2017 draft against the Saints in Week 6. Both teams come into the game with just one win on the season and a laundry list of issues on both sides of the ball. Carolina will be looking to gain some much-needed positive momentum heading into their bye week and having Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart back in the lineup is a step in the right direction. Every game for Carolina is a must win at this point and any chance at a turnaround starts at the Superdome on Sunday.
Can Carolina’s offense keep up with Drew Brees?
An already depleted Panthers secondary was dealt another loss when cornerback Robert McClain was ruled out for Sunday. In Week 6, the Panthers will start a cast of rookies and practice squad cornerbacks against future hall of famer Drew Brees. Brees comes into the game averaging over 300 passing yards per game and that number is sure to rise after Sunday. The Saints running game has been nearly nonexistent, as Mark Ingram has struggled so once again the offense will rest on Brees’ arm. We all know the Saints are a completely different team at home and that offense is pretty much guaranteed to put up 30 points whenever they play in New Orleans. With Matt Ryan & Julio Jones performance against Carolina’s secondary still fresh in opposing offenses mind, expect Drew Brees and WR Brandin Cooks to be more than ready for Sunday’s game.
If the Panthers want any chance at winning in New Orleans, Newton and Stewart must have success with the read-option early in the game. With Stewart healthy, Cam should have an easier time executing reads after having backup Artis-Payne struggle with holding on to the ball for too long in games earlier in the season. If the read-option is successful, it should open things up downfield for receivers Tedd Ginn and Philly Brown when they choose to go play action. Having Cam back should also give the Panthers a must needed boost in 3rd and short situations. The Panthers must convert on 3rd down on Sunday because anytime their secondary is on the field, the likelihood of them leaving New Orleans with a 1-5 record increases. On average, the Saints defense is giving up over 30 points and 400 yards of total offense through four games so the Panthers should have every opportunity to get back on track in Week 6.
This should be a high scoring, exciting game with both teams desperately fighting for win number two on the season. Ultimately, this game comes down to Drew Brees against Carolina’s secondary and that is unfortunate for my Panthers.
Final Score: Saints 34-28