New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers: Panthers fall short, drop to 0-2

Langston Wertz Jr., Alex Zietlow, Mike Kaye, Scott Fowler, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Football

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One spectacular play seemed to change the Monday Night Football game between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium.

That play, from Saints receiver Chris Olave, helped New Orleans win 20-17 and may have done some serious damage to Carolina’s season, just two weeks into the campaign.

WIth the game tied at 6 in the second half, the Panthers seemed to have the Saints’ offense figured out. But on third down, New Orleans QB Derek Carr threw a deep pass towards Olave, who was covered well by Carolina defensive back CJ Henderson.

Henderson made a play for the ball as it arrived but Olave found it with one hand and brought it in with the other.

The play gave New Orleans the ball at the Carolina 30, and momentum seemed to shift. The Saints went on to polish off a punishing drive that went 10 plays and 75 yards and lasted more than six minutes.

On a night where Bryce Young and the Carolina offense just couldn’t get going, Olave’s play and Tony Jones’ subsequent touchdown were daggers.

Carolina did put together a potentially game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, sparked by a 26-yard scramble by Young on first down. But once Carolina got into the red zone, the run game didn’t work and Young was sacked for a 6-yard loss on third down. Eddy Pineiro made his third field goal of the game, and the Panthers trailed 13-9.


But New Orleans put the game away when it got the ball back, after Derek Carr hit Rashid Shaheed on another long pass play to get deep into Carolina territory. Shaheed laid a wicked double move on Panthers defensive back Donte Jackson to get open.

A few plays later, Tony Jones scored on a short run to the game away.

Carolina had a 75-yard scoring drive, playing against soft defense, from New Orleans and Young hit Adam Thielen with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to get within three. But New Orleans recovered the onside kick to effectively end the game.

The Panthers fall to 0-2 in an NFC South where New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay are all 2-0. It’s going to be a mighty uphill struggle to get back in the divisional race.

Carolina came in with injuries on the offensive line and sustained another when starting linebacker Shaq Thompson had his leg rolled up on and was taken off in a cart.

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