On Sunday, the Buccaneers and Falcons moved to 2-0 following wins against the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, respectively. Those stellar starts will put more pressure on the Panthers (0-1) — the NFC South’s only winless team — as they get set to host the Saints (1-0) at Bank of America Stadium in their home-opener on Monday Night Football.
Losing to the Saints in prime time would lead to a 0-2 hole for Panthers head coach Frank Reich, quarterback Bryce Young and company. That result would also move New Orleans to 2-0. With three division foes at 2-0, and the Panthers moving to 0-2 overall (and within the division), Carolina would be looking at a momentous disadvantage in the standings to start the season.
So, the Panthers will need to bounce back from their 24-10 loss to the Falcons in front a national audience. The Saints defeated the Tennessee Titans, 16-15, in Week 1 after their defense produced three interceptions against Ryan Tannehill.
Young, this year’s first overall draft pick, got off to a rough start to his first campaign, completing just 52.6% of his passes for 146 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against Atlanta. The rookie will look to rebound with wideout DJ Chark (hamstring/questionable) expected to return to the lineup. However, he will still need to deal with a pair of inexperienced linemen — Cade Mays and Chander Zavala — at guard.
Kickoff for the Panthers’ Week 2 matchup against the Saints is set for 7:15 p.m. The Panthers swept the Saints in their two matchups last season.