Carolina Panthers Week 17 halftime update vs. New Orleans Saints
The Carolina Panthers trail 35-3 at halftime vs. New Orleans Saints.
With the New Orleans Saints still having an opportunity to clinch home field advantage for the playoffs, expectations were they would approach Week 17 in a similar manner to any other game. The Carolina Panthers are in the midst of a current seven game losing streak and after a dismal first half, it appears eight in a row is only a few quarters away.
Rookie quarterback Will Grier received his second career start but a foot injury has seen him replaced by Kyle Allen. In his time under center versus New Orleans, Grier managed just one completion for four yards while tossing an interception returned for a touchdown. He also lost a fumble and managed just over 50 yards of total offense.
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Opposite, New Orleans has imposed their will on the Carolina defense. Multiple pass interference penalties have aided the Saints offense but quarterback Drew Brees also continues to put his team in different positions to be successful. Throughout the first half, Brees is 13 of 22 for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Allen provided a little spark to the offense as Carolina finally scored a field goal to close out the first half. Leading the Panthers on their longest drive of the game, his play has helped running back Christian McCaffrey in his effort to become only the third player ever with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving within a single season.
Currently with 45 receiving yards, McCaffrey needs 22 in the second half to join Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig on this elite list. Given Allen is expected to continue at quarterback, his chances look good but don’t expect to see him play much following.
Already, the Panthers have sidelined linebacker Luke Kuechly and given the game has essentially been decided, both teams may elect to rest some of their key contributors down the stretch.