4 big-time matchups to watch during Panthers vs. Saints in Week 2

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Saints short passing game vs. Carolina Panthers pass rush

Just like with the wide receiver room, a strength can sometimes become a weakness and that may happen with the strongest part of the Carolina Panthers’ defense come Sunday.

There’s only one good way to beat a stout pass rush or limit the liability of a poor offensive line, quick passes on short routes. This is something that the Panthers utilized quite well against the New York Jets, using the fact that they knew there would be penetration to throw the ball behind it.

This is also what the New Orleans Saints did against the Green Bay Packers but for different reasons.

The main knock on Jameis Winston throughout his career has been his inability to protect the football, especially on long throws. Knowing this, the Saints kept things short and simple for their new starter and that worked masterfully even if it wasn’t exactly the most flashy thing in the world. Turning the definition of a gunslinger into more of a game manager.

Winston only attempted 20 total passes and only three of those were over 20 yards downfield.

Where this turns into a problem for the Panthers is that they are built around generating pressure more so than covering. Now, these things have to work together to be successful but there is always one that is more of the focus that makes the other look better.

This is where we get the term “coverage sack” from.

Where the coverage was so good that the quarterback had to sit there long enough for a lesser pass rush to get home.

So if the tandem of Brian Burns and Haason Reddick can’t make their presence known because of the quick releases Winston showed in Week 1, that puts more pressure on a young secondary that has performed well but shouldn’t have that much weight put on them this early.

5 Carolina Panthers players with work to do after Week 1 vs. NY Jets. light. Must Read

So it will be very interesting to see just how the Panthers will handle more of a dink and doink offense and if this new-look linebacker core can pick up the slack.