5 ways Panthers QB Sam Darnold can thrive vs. the Saints in Week 2

(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Paradis /

Sam Darnold must take advantage of Marshon Lattimore’s absence

Even though the New Orleans Saints defense has to be respected, the absence of stud cornerback Marshon Lattimore is a substantial boost to the Carolina Panthers and their chance of getting one over on their NFC South rivals.

Lattimore will miss a few weeks after getting hurt days after signing a lucrative contract extension, leaving the Saints relying heavily on Paulson Adebo, Desmond Trufant, and recently acquired Bradley Roby against Carolina’s impressive wide receivers.

Not the worst trio in the world by any stretch of the imagination. But Trufant and Roby are newcomers to the setup and this is something Sam Darnold has to exploit in Week 2.

D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson will see this as a tremendous opportunity to generate some notable yardage and perhaps even a touchdown or two. They should be able to get open consistently, so what comes next will be down to Darnold and the offensive line in front of him.

Not having Lattimore is a blow for the Saints, but the addition of Roby from the Houston Texans could be a shrewd bit of business with a smooth transition to a new environment.

Staying composed and limiting mistakes is the smart way to go. But there will also be chances for big gains that Darnold needs to capitalize on.