The Carolina Panthers are set to take on the New Orleans Saints in a divisional matchup in Week 2. This is a big moment for this franchise, as this is a young team who could be tied for first place in the AFC South with a win on Sunday. It's time to continue our NFL predictions series with a Panthers Week 2 prediction.
New Orleans comes into this game after routing the Green Bay Packers. The Panthers' defense will have their hands full in this one but could stir up some commotion in the backfield. A key to victory will be to pressure Jameis Winston early and often. With the impressive front seven in Carolina, the Panthers have a great chance to get in Winston's face and force him to make mistakes.
Offensively, this team is still incredibly young. However, this is a great opportunity for Sam Darnold to show improvement. To do so, he'll have to target his talented receiving core, which means DJ Moore could be in for a big game. Lastly, the entire world knows the offense runs through Christian McCaffrey. For that reason, we should see the highest-paid running back put on another spectacular performance. With that said, here are four bold Panthers predictions for Week 2.
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Panthers Week 2 Predictions
4. Panthers defense records 4 sacks on Jameis Winston
Carolina's defense absolutely torched Sam Darnold and the New York Jets in the season opener. This defense will carry that confidence into their next game against the Saints. New Orleans has a much better offensive line than the Jets, so expectations should be slightly tempered. However, this is a hungry group looking to prove themselves in the NFL. We should see the Panthers attack the quarterback often as they hope to bother Jameis Winston enough to gain the edge.
3. Sam Darnold takes another step forward in development
It was a rocky start to kick off the season opener, but Sam Darnold eventually regained his composure. He's been given new life in Carolina and seemed to be more confident than ever while facing off against the Jets. We just witnessed the Saints nearly shut out the Packers, so this might be a tough matchup for Darnold. Either way, the Panthers are hopeful for another solid performance from their starting quarterback.
2. DJ Moore shows why he's the top wide receiver in Carolina
DJ Moore hasn't quite shined so far in his NFL career, but it's not for a lack of talent. He had a great game in the season opener that could have been more impressive had he reeled in a touchdown. The scoring opportunities will come, as DJ Moore has all of the potential in the world. Keep an eye on Moore in Week 2, as he could torch the Saints with multiple touchdowns on Sunday.
1. Christian McCaffrey goes off for 250+ total yards and three touchdowns
Christian McCaffrey is option A, B, and C for the Panthers' offense. He led the team in rushing and receiving in Week 1, which is something he should do regularly. He failed to get in the end zone though, but that could all change against the Saints. Look for McCaffrey to have another huge performance, as he aims to lead the Panthers in rushing, receiving, and scoring in Week 2.
Nonetheless, are you excited for Panthers-Saints?