3 Panthers position groups that must step up vs. Saints in Week 2

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Haason Reddick
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Haason Reddick /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

1 PM ET. 15. Sunday, September 19. 87. Panthers +3.0. 1-0. FOX. 1-0

Which Carolina Panthers position groups must step up for the team to secure a 2-0 start against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2?

Since 1990 when the NFL increased postseason participation to a 12 team format, franchises that have started the season 2-0 have made the playoffs 72.6 percent of the time according to Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.

This stat alone provides sufficient motivation for the Carolina Panthers to take care of business Sunday when the recently displaced New Orleans Saints come to town at Bank of America Stadium.

In late August, Hurricane Ida caused much devastation in the New Orleans area, forcing the Saints to temporarily move their base of operations for an indefinite period.

In many cases, teams tend to bond together in times of distress and form an unshakeable resilience. But in the same breath, the Saints are ushering in a new era without the recently retired Drew Brees leading the charge.

Even without Brees, the team still has their identity intact of a high octane offense ready and willing to strike at a moment’s notice coupled with a defense that can limit the opposing quarterback as seen in Week 1’s matchup against reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

After sitting and learning for a season, Jameis Winston commanded the offense beautifully with five touchdowns and zero interceptions on only 148 yards passing. The defense shut down Rodgers. Read the previous sentence again; the defense shut down the league MVP.

Let’s not forget Alvin Kamara is a top-three running back, the tight end unit has stepped up with sure hands, and Michael Thomas was not even playing.

On the other side, the Panthers squeaked away with a win over the New York Jets in Week 1. Yes, in the NFL, a win is a win and a coach will always take it; but it was ugly, points were left on the board, and the Gang Green hung around much longer than many anticipated.

It was incredible, yet a sigh of relief, to see Christian McCaffrey back on the field after missing 13 games in 2020. While Sam Darnold played well enough in his competitive debut, veteran Shaq Thompson filled the highlight reel leading the defense with 10 tackles, one sack, and an interception.

Which position groups must step up in Week 2 to help secure a win? Let’s check it out.