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New Orleans Saints: 4 bold predictions for Week 3 vs. Panthers

NFL, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Jameis Winston, Chris Olave, Dennis Allen

In Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints travel to Bank of America Stadium to face the Carolina Panthers. Both teams are coming off defeats in Week 2 and are trying to make huge bouncebacks. We’ll go through our Saints Week 3 predictions for their game against the Panthers down below.

Coach Dennis Allen’s New Orleans Saints will play Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers in an intriguing NFC South clash.

After falling to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2, Jameis Winston and the Saints offense will seek to rebound against a Panthers squad that is still hunting for its first win under quarterback Baker Mayfield. Can the Saints get their run game going? Will their defense hold up?

With those questions in mind, here are our four bold predictions for the New Orleans Saints in their Week 3 game vs. the Panthers.

4. Shy Tuttle sacks Baker Mayfield

Defensive tackle Shy Tuttle had nine tackles (including two solo), a half-sack, and a pass breakup in Sunday’s 20-10 loss against the Buccaneers.

His nine tackles were a single-game career-high, surpassing his previous best of six. Although the effort resulted in a defeat, he was instrumental in limiting Leonard Fournette to 65 yards on 24 carries. The fourth-year pro will attempt to keep his hot streak going against the Panthers in Week 3.

It would be easier said than done, however, against Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, who is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Tuttle should also finally record a solo sack for the first time this season. He should get one against Baker Mayfield, who has already been sacked six times in just two games.

3. Chris Olave nets 80+ yards and his first TD

In the Saints’ Week 2 defeat, 2022 first-round pick Chris Olave saw 13 targets, catching only five passes for 80 yards and dropping a fumble. He had a long of 51 yards, though, underscoring his big-play ability. As such, Olave only really needs just one big catch to put up big numbers and affect big damage on the Panthers’ secondary.

Olave’s 13 targets actually topped all Saints wide receivers on Sunday. He was clearly Jameis Winston’s favorite deep threat, and that will probably continue in Week 3. As such, it’s reasonable to expect Olave to hit 80 yards again and finally get his first NFL touchdown reception against Carolina.

2. Mark Ingram II rushes for 50+ yards and a TD

Mark Ingram II was expected to be RB2 for the Saints, but Alvin Kamara’s rib injury has propelled the two-time Pro Bowler into lead back duties. Kamara was sent to the bench when the Saints faced Tampa Bay, as the 32-year-old Ingram led the club with 10 running attempts and 60 yards on the ground.

The 12-year veteran was part of a rotation with Tony Jones Jr. and Dwayne Washington, but they combined for just six carries and 26 yards. Looking ahead to Week 3, Ingram should be the clear RB1 against the Panthers.

As for Kamara, his condition should be closely monitored throughout the week, as he will immediately resume a heavy workload as New Orleans’ primary back upon his return. That will probably not be in Week 3, though.

Ingram should find it easy to go over 50 yards again on the ground against the Panthers, and he should also record his first rushing TD of the season.

1. Jameis Winston plays but throws for under 200 yards

Saints quarterback Jameis Winston was diagnosed with four minor fractures in his back ahead of this game. He actually missed practice on Wednesday due to back and ankle problems.

Winston came out and threw the ball 40 times despite his back troubles last Sunday. He completed 25 throws for 236 yards, scored once, and had three interceptions. It’ll be very tough to duplicate that in Week 3 with his combo on injuries.

There has been some talk if the Saints should rest him. However, with their current situation coming off a tough loss, the team needs to win in Week 3. Backup QB Andy Dalton won’t be good enough to do that. A hampered Winston should still be the better option.

Winston, for one, is not going to withdraw from a game. He’s not built that way. He’ll be out there if he can physically stand and toss a football. There’s a lot to be said for pushing through the discomfort and getting to work. However, if his performance suffers and he endangers the team, Dennis Allen and his coaching staff must step in and make the choice for him. Allen has not hinted that a change is on the way in the center. As a result, Winston will play in this game, however, he will pass for less than 200 yards.