Are The Carolina Panthers For Real?

The Carolina Panthers are on a roll. After defeating the New York Jets in Week 1, they faced a bigger challenge in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints but they proved to be more than capable. Yes, the Saints were faced with COVID-19 issues (missing players & seven coaches) but maybe Carolina is a better team than we thought.

Saints quarterback Jameis Winston looked much like he did in Tampa Bay. The Panthers' defence was all over him, getting hit 11 times with four sacks mixed in. Winston only threw 11 completions for 111 yards and two interceptions. They also shut down Alvin Kamara, the Saints' most explosive offensive player. The Panthers held him to just eight carries for five rushing yards and 25 receiving yards on four catches.

Panthers QB Sam Darnold had a brutal interception but still finished the game with two touchdowns and went 26-for-38 on 305 passing yards. A win against the Jets last week was nothing impressive but even against a depleted Saints team, the Panthers looked great. You could make the argument that they are the biggest surprise this season so far and they're staring down a 3-0 start when they face the Houston Texans on Thursday.

Looking ahead, the Panthers have the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings leading up to Week 6. Could the Panthers be 6-0 by then? Anything's possible but if Darnold and the team keep this up, they very well could be.

Photo Credit: © Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

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