Following the New Orleans Saints second game of the 2012 NFL season, no one would have imagined that they would be 0-2, especially with the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers being their first two opponents. Sometimes in this crazy league called the NFL the unexpected happens and that is exactly what has transpired following the Saints 35-27 loss to the Panthers on Sunday.
Panthers QB Cam Newton put together a tremendous game both through the air (14-20, 253 yards, TD) and on the ground (13 carries, 71 yards, TD) to lead his team to a tough victory over a team that should easily be 2-0 instead of 0-2. His five-yard touchdown run proved to be the game winning score as the Panthers defense wouldn’t allow Drew Brees to lead the Saints offense down field to any more scoring and place them in a position where they don’t want to be.
Aside from the obvious issue that the Saints are dealing with right now (not having Sean Payton on the sideline due to his year-long suspension) the other factor is that New Orleans defense couldn’t stop a fly right now. Thus far during their games this season, the Saints D has given up 75 points and 922 yards of total offense. Even a high-powered offensive team such as them can’t expect to overcome those kind of numbers. They have to figure something out, otherwise next week versus the Kansas City Chiefs, they could fall to 0-3 on the year.
The Panthers, meanwhile, did something against the Saints that they failed to do last week in their season opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: run the football effectively. Carolina rushed for a total of 219 yards and seemed to have their high-powered rushing game back on track, which will be crucial for them to continue throughout the season if they are going to make a run at the postseason. Next week the Panthers will host the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday Night Football.