Panthers secondary needs to be on high alert Monday
The Panthers will have their work cut out for them in the secondary on Monday.
When the New Orleans Saints took on the Dallas Cowboys, the rest of the National Football League got a bit of a blueprint on how to stop Saints quarterback Drew Brees. It seems kind of silly that after all his years in the NFL that people would find out a way to stop him now. Nevertheless a secret to stopping one of the greatest of all time is better later than not at all, especially in the case of the slumping Panthers.
Steve Taranto of 247Sports wrote an article on Saturday detailing how to get the job done. He noted that vertical pressure, creating pressure from the middle of the offensive line is key. Let me just start by saying, I agree with that. That is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys did as they secured their victory over the Saints. However, I agree with linebacker Luke Kuechly, who says it is easier said than done in the article.
"“It’s tough to get pressure like that on him because the ball comes out so fast,” said middle linebacker Luke Kuechly. “He’s able to read and diagnose and understand where the ball needs to be extremely quick.”"
I truly see this being a game where the secondary is going to have to show up. The fact of the matter is, the Saints can make in-game adjustments in order to make sure that the Panthers do not get pressure on Brees. They have many weapons at their disposal such as running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Their talents both on the ground and as receiving backs out of the backfield can help neutralize a pass rush. It is truly fascinating to watch, if you are not on the defensive side of the football.
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The secondary is going to have their work cut out for them. Last week, they gave up 238 passing yards to the Cleveland Browns and I truly do not see things getting any better for them on Monday. This time, they will have to compete with the likes of Michael Thomas, Kamara, and emerging star Tre’Quan Smith. This is not going to be as simple as just being able to get pressure up the middle. It will take a full team effort on the defensive side the football order to have a shot at beating the Saints. With that in mind, the secondary will have to do the bulk of the work on Monday.
Against a passing offense that ranks 11th in all of football, Carolina needs to be ready. They can put up points in a hurry. The last thing the Panthers want to do is have another meltdown on prime time television. They are hanging on for their playoff lives, and a win against the New Orleans Saints can certainly improve their playoff position.