Though the Saints D did not break, they did allow the lead to be increased by the Panthers, 20-16.
Meanwhile, the Saints were increasingly hopeful about the possible returns of cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (toe), who have not played yet this season. After a Saints drive was extended due to an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Panthers against Luke McCown, there was a similar play when the Panthers got the ball. Their DB Josh Norman made a phenomenal play. It was day-to-day, and then on Friday we felt with where it was at, at that time, it was smart to rest him.
There is a perception, whether warranted or not, that because of his physical stature and the fact that he runs more than any quarterback in the league he doesn’t get as many personal fouls to go his way. While they’ve often had to wait their turns to get on the field, neither player wants to lose. Brees says he’s confident he can play, but he was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
“I know that’s the perception and I think that’s something people do believe”, Blandino said. “God gave me wings to fly”. They blew a 10-0 lead by getting ripped apart (exposing glaring inadequacies) by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s arm and legs.
TE Greg Olsen is up to the task of being Newton’s primary target.
Vikings 31, Chargers 14: Adrian Peterson rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns in host Minnesota’s victory over San Diego (1-2). He also had 76 yards and a touchdown in running. Newton’s third touchdown on the day put Carolina up 27-16.
The Saints average just 79 yards on the ground in the first two games of the season – 25th in the NFL.
The offense on the other hand responded with their first scoring drive. It resulted in a Zach Hooker 31-yard field goal. On the ground, Mark Ingram rushed for 53 yards and one touchdown in 16 attempts while Khiry Robinson added 48 yards in five carries.
Newton led the Panthers on a 12-play, 80-yard drive and finished with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen.
“He’s a playmaker”, coach Ron Rivera said. “It was just him making a play”.
On the final play of the first half, Graham Gano connected on a 20-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-all. The throw was intended for Brandin Cooks in the end zone, and the second-year wideout had a step on Norman for a catch that would have given New Orleans the lead.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton rolled right not far from his own end zone in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday and took a hard hit at the out-of-bounds line by the Saints Tyeler Davison.
Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) celebrates as he crosses the goal… We’re coming up against another divisional opponent who showed a lot of gumption last week against New Orleans.