NFL Football

14
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
New Orleans 0 0 0 14 14
Carolina 7 6 0 9 22
22
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST11:00 AM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , September 25, 2022
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina  Weather: 68°, Partly Cloudy  Attendance: 70,496

Saints-Panthers Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

  1. Since the 2016 season, New Orleans is 10-3 against Carolina, including a 31-26 win in the 2017 postseason. Two of its three losses have come in Carolina, including in these teams' meeting there last season, a 26-7 Panthers win.
  2. The Saints fell to the Buccaneers, 20-10, at home last week. Dating back to last season, the Saints have scored 17 or fewer points in five of their last nine games, going 1-4 in those games. They're 4-0 when scoring 18 or more.
  3. Jameis Winston had three interceptions in 40 pass attempts last week, matching his season total from last year (161 attempts). It was his first game with at least three picks since December 21, 2019, a 23-20 loss to Houston as a Buccaneer (4 interceptions).
  4. The Panthers lost to the Giants, 19-16, on the road last week, and have now opened the season 0-2 for the third time in the last four seasons. Carolina is 6-22 in its last 28 home games and has lost seven straight. That's the longest active streak, and one shy of tying the franchise record (lost all 8 in 2001 season).
  5. Baker Mayfield completed just 14 of his 29 pass attempts last week (48.3%). It was his 10th career game with a completion percentage of 50.0 or below -- his teams are 2-8 in those games, scoring an average of 14.0 points.
  6. Carolina has only been outscored by five points in its two losses -- Atlanta is also 0-2 with a -5 point differential. This is the first time in NFL history that two teams have lost their first two games by a combined five or fewer points in the same season.
Team Comparison

New Orleans
 
Carolina
18.5 Points 20.0
252.5 Pass Yds 190.0
125.5 Rush Yds 100.0
3 Takeaways 0
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers are looking for their first takeaway - along with their first win - and history suggests New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston could help them solve both problems on Sunday.

Winston has struggled mightily throughout his career versus the Panthers.

He's 4-6 in 10 appearances vs. Carolina with nearly twice as many interceptions (16) as touchdowns passes (nine). He's been sacked 36 times by the Panthers, turning the ball over eight times on fumbles.

While the majority of his struggles came as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Winston didn't fare any better wearing a Saints jersey last season as he was limited to 111 yards passing, intercepted twice and sacked four times in a lopsided 26-7 loss at Carolina.

"Obviously last year (at Carolina) wasn't a great showing for any of us - offense, defense, kicking game," said Saints coach Dennis Allen.

"We did not play well when we went out there and I think offensively it was a real challenge in the fact that a majority of the offensive staff was out with COVID in that game."

The Panthers defense failed to get a takeaway in the first two weeks, but their players are well aware of Winston's habit of turning the ball over and will look to take advantage of it.

"As everybody knows he has a record of throwing picks and we are just looking for one," said linebacker Frankie Luvu. "When they do come we are going to make the most of it."

Said Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson: "We know once the floodgates open, they come in bunches. We're just going to keep working at it."

Winston, who has been playing with a back injury, is coming off a rough week against Tampa Bay.

He was intercepted three times and was sacked six times in a 20-10 loss with running back Alvin Kamara sidelined with an injury. The Saints were limited to just three points until a late touchdown reception by Michael Thomas.

"I will do a better job of staying mellow in the madness," Winston said.

HEISMAN HYPE

As long as Winston is able to play through his back injury, the game will match a pair of QBs, who also were Heisman Trophy winners.

Winston won it in the 2013 season, when he led Florida State to a national title. Mayfield, who began his college career as a walk-on at Texas Tech, won his Heisman in 2017 with Oklahoma.

Both quarterbacks also were overall No. 1 draft choices by teams for which they no longer play: Winston in 2015 by Tampa Bay, and Mayfield in 2018 by Cleveland.

"I got a lot of respect for Baker, just for the story, being a walk-on and then winning the Heisman," Winston said. "He plays with a tremendous amount of swag, which is exciting to see as a player."

SACKED

Winston was sacked four times at Atlanta in Week 1, and it only got worse in Week 2, when he was sacked six times in a loss to Tampa Bay.

But the quarterback declines to place the blame on his pass protection.

"I felt it was outstanding - both the games," Winston said. "Our offensive line is solid. I've got to do a better job getting the ball out of my hands."

Allen has agreed to some extent, saying the blocking hasn't always been on point, but that Winston also was indecisive in the pocket at times.

BALL SECURITY

Allen has placed a renewed emphasis on ball security after seeing the Saints done in by five turnovers in the final 17 minutes of their 20-10 loss to Tampa Bay. The game was tied at 3-3 before the first of those turnovers.

"We have to understand the value and importance of protecting the football," Allen said. "I know that turnovers are part of this game, they happen, but our whole mindset has to be that we have to limit those mistakes that cost you from winning games."

CHANGING IT UP

With the Panthers passing game looking stale, coach Matt Rhule suggested it might be time to add some wide receivers to the mix.

That means Terrace Marshall Jr. and Rashard Higgins could figure into the game plan this week. So far almost all of the reps have gone to D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson and Shi Smith, who had two key drops against the New York Giants last week.

"I think we have to start playing more guys at the receiver position," Rhule said. "I think we want those guys out there; they're good players for us. But I think Terrace is coming on, Rashard's a guy we know can play. We just probably need to get those guys on the field more.

"We've been no-huddle at times; it's hard to rotate guys in. Those guys get worn out, those crucial downs, so maybe on those third downs, we're not playing as fast as we could be playing."

THIRD DOWN ISSUES

The Panthers offense has really struggled on third downs.

Baker Mayfield is just 7 of 14 passing for 54 yards with one interception and no touchdowns and the Panthers have converted just 26.1% of their opportunities as dropped passes, penalties and down-and-distance issues have all led to the lack of production.

"I don't know what our conversion percent on third down was but it wasn't very good," Mayfield said. "Getting down there and getting field goals instead of touchdowns in the red zone. That will kill us."

---

AP Sports Writer Brett Martel contributed to this report.

---

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated September 22, 2022

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2022 by STATS PERFORM.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS PERFORM is strictly prohibited.