Each the Panthers and Saints debuted new quarterbacks within the NFC South to begin the 2023 season. And each Bryce Younger, this 12 months’s No. 1 general choose; and Derek Carr, New Orleans’ largest veteran acquisition, had their justifiable share of highs and lows. Now, the 2 will meet in prime time trying to take a step ahead, kicking off a “Monday Evening Soccer” doubleheader to shut Week 2.
The Saints have had far more late-season success of late, advancing to the playoffs in 4 of their final six years. Nevertheless it’s the Panthers, who have not tasted January soccer in six years, who’ve the current edge within the divisional collection, successful three of the final 4 matchups between the rivals. Granted, that was earlier than both Carr or Younger got here to city. The previous rebounded from a gradual begin in opposition to the Titans in Week 1, whereas Younger threw two picks in a sluggish debut in opposition to the Falcons.
Who’s poised to grab the Monday evening lights? How will you tune in? Here is all the things you’ll want to know:
The best way to watch
- When: Monday, Sept. 18 | 7:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Financial institution of America Stadium (Charlotte, North Carolina)
- TV: ESPN | Stream: fubo
- Odds: Saints -3; O/U 39.5 (through SportsLine consensus odds)
Keys to the sport
- Who can cease the Saints’ downfield assault? Michael Thomas remains to be on the sphere, however extra importantly, Carr has each Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed (201 mixed yards) as big-play targets. Carolina, in the meantime, will probably be with out high cowl man Jaycee Horn for a number of weeks after he went down with a hamstring damage. That is a whole lot of stress on C.J. Henderson.
- Can the Panthers shield Bryce Younger? The rookie QB will probably be up in opposition to one of many NFL’s finest entrance sevens, headlined by rangy linebacker Demario Davis and longtime edge rusher Cameron Jordan. Proper sort out Taylor Moton is battling by way of a biceps damage, and whereas the Panthers’ entrance allowed simply two sacks in Week 1, Younger struggled to finish even 55% of his throws whereas working to keep away from adverse performs within the pocket. Additional blockers or a run-heavy script could possibly be so as.
- How a lot can Brian Burns have an effect on the sport? The Panthers standout is doing his half to earn an enormous payday in a contract 12 months, logging two sacks and a pressured fumble in opposition to the Falcons in Week 1. Carr is susceptible as anybody to drive a move if he is going through critical warmth, so Burns might simply be Carolina’s finest likelihood at leaving its residence opener with a “W.”
Increase your hand for those who knew the Panthers left Week 1 because the fifth-best speeding workforce in soccer, based mostly on manufacturing of their season opener. That is proper; even in a lopsided loss to the Falcons, Miles Sanders, Chuba Hubbard and Younger mixed for near 150 yards on the bottom. It is one cause you may really feel OK betting on a Carolina rebound in Charlotte. Actually it is truthful to anticipate Younger to be at the least a little bit higher than he was in opposition to Atlanta (20-38, 146 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT).
However that is about the place the hope runs dry with regards to the house workforce right here. Spectacular as Younger’s intangibles could also be, making him a promising new face of the franchise, he’ll be up in opposition to a good stingier protection on this one, with Dennis Allen’s membership boasting extra imposing starters at each degree. Confronted with Derrick Henry in Week 1, the Saints had little hassle. Greater than that, with Jaycee Horn sidelined, it is powerful to ascertain C.J. Henderson and Donte Jackson maintaining with New Orleans’ extra explosive wideouts.
Divisional video games are all the time tough, and if there is a hidden cause the Panthers might pull off the upset, it most likely lies with their protection, the place Brian Burns and Derrick Brown have the power to drive Carr off rhythm. However after forcing three turnovers and surrendering simply 15 factors of their first outing, we’re betting first on the Saints “D” in opposition to the first-year QB.
Rating: Saints 27, Panthers 16
I like my choose for this sport, however you may like Larry Harstein’s higher. He is our playing guru over at SportsLine.com and he is been on roll together with his Saints predictions, going 45-29 on his final 74 picks. If you wish to try Harstein’s choose, you can do that here.