5 Reasons Why The Saints Will Lose To The Panthers
The New Orleans Saints return to action on Sunday afternoon, taking on the Carolina Panthers, and it’s time to take a look at five reasons why they will lose.
Actually, that should probably read “why they might lose".
Truthfully, I don't think the Saints will win, but it is an NFL game. I mean, we’re not talking about a college football game between Alabama and Idaho St. here. So they can win, but although I hope I'm wrong, I don't think they will.
In another segment, Greg Larnerd lists five reasons why the Saints will win.
Kickoff time is scheduled for noon.
5 Reasons The Saints Will Win:
1)---Saints' Secondary: New Orleans is last in the NFL in completion percentage allowed, yards per attempt allowed, and tied for the most touchdowns allowed. The Saints have even allowed more deep touchdown passes (three) than deep incompletions (two) this season. The past three times Newton has gotten a full week of prep time prior to facing the Saints, he has thrown for at least 315 yards against them., including a 322-yard, to touchdown performance against the Saints in New Orleans last year. Sam Bradford threw for 346 yards against the Saints in week one, before Tom Brady threw for 447 yards in week two. Could it get worse? Maybe, as the Saints ma be without cornerbacks Sterling Moore (pectoral) and Marshon Lattmore (concussion), who are both questionable.
2)---Saints Offensive Line: The Saints will once again be without both of their starting tackles, Terron Armstead and Zach Strief, and will be paying or the second-consecutive week with a makeshift front. Actually, the offensive line wasn't horrible last week, but they're going up against a Carolina defense that has gotten to the quarterback 7 times in two games, while allowing a league-low 6 points. Look for the offensive front to struggle on Sunday.
3)---Willie Snead: Snead was suspended for the first three games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, has badly been missed. Just last season, Snead finished the season with 72 receptions for 895 yards and four touchdowns. His 69.2% catch rate was eighteenth among NFL wide receivers. How crucial is Snead? Well, last year, the Saints led the NFL in third-down conversions. This year, they rank tied for 22nd. Granted, that's through only two games, but couple Snead's suspension with the absence of Brandin Cooks, who was traded to the Patriots during the offseason, two of the team's top three receivers from a year ago, and it's easy to understand why they're struggling in third down situations this year. And who are they going up against? A Panthers defense, which has allowed only 25% success rate in third down attempts so far.
4)---Inability To Create Turnovers: What's scary about the Saints' start, is that despite not turning over the football one single time, they've still been beaten soundly in their first two games. Think about that; if I would have told you the Saints would be even in turnover margin in their first two games, you might have taken that. And yet they lost both games by double-digit points. That's because they haven't created any turnovers themselves, and with Lattimore and Moore questionable, playing against a Carolina team that protects the football, it's unlikely to be the case again.
5)---Christian McCaffrey: The rookie can catch the football, with 9 catches for 72 yrds over the first two games. Look for his production to increase, not only because of experience, but also due to the fact that the Panthers will be without the services of tight end Greg Olsen, who is out with a broken foot. Carolina will be relying on McCaffrey more, including on Sunday, going up against a linebacking group that has struggle in coverage this year. Look for McCaffrey to make at least a couple of big third down receptions to keep drives alive.