The Panthers Beat Down the Saints, 22-14
The Saints took on the Panthers on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte.
After a week of concerning injury news, Saints fans got a look at Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara, and Paulson Adebo, all of whom were questionable before the game. Deonte Harris and Taysom Hill were both inactive.
Jameis was playing with a transverse fracture in his back, which forced him to wear a specially-designed back brace. It very clearly affected his ability to get the ball out accurately.
The Saints defense did what they normally do. Aside from a 14 yard run by Christian McCaffery, they held tight against the Panthers offense. Baker Mayfield's atrocious play helped out too.
The first two offensive drives were not as dominant.
Refball and an 8-man rush on 3rd down killed the first drive for the Saints, but the second drive ended worse. A Kamara fumble led to a scoop and score.
The Panthers went up by 7, and the offense came right back out.
And they went three-and-out.
The Panthers made some inroads on offense, but the Saints D held them to a field goal.
It was now 10-0. The Saints needed an offensive drive.
The officials would never allow that. A bad holding call put the drive on ice.
Flags continued to just kneecap the Saints. The game was starting to look really, really bad for the Black and Gold.
At this point it became clear that the defense was getting tired, and they were starting to slow down. The Panthers collected three more points to make it 13-0.
The Saints got the ball in a desperation situation at the end of the first half. And despite a huge bomb to Chris Olave, the Saints had a half-ending field goal blocked, and were held scoreless in the first half.
The second half just kept getting worse. A missed Wil Lutz field goal after a sack of Jameis Winston just took the wind out of the team.
The Saints finally put together an offensive drive with some good passing from a still obviously injured Winston. They drove into the red zone and Mark Ingram finally got the team on the board.
But the Panthers wouldn't go down. A blown coverage let Laviska Shenault turn a short pass into a long touchdown.
Then on the ensuing Saints drive, a tipped pass from Winston turned into a pick by a Panthers defensive lineman. That turned into a field goal.
The Saints didn't go anywhere and the Panthers salted the clock down to about 4 minutes.
The Saints got the ball back and two big plays to Chris Olave and Tre'Quan Smith got the team into the redzone. Marquez Callaway hauled in a touchdown on a drive that took only a minute and six seconds.
The Saints tried for an onside kick but were unsuccessful. They managed to stop the Panthers from completely running the clock out, but Jameis Winston was intercepted on a last second Hail Mary, and the game was over.