5 keys to victory for the Carolina Panthers vs. Saints in Week 2

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joe Brady
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joe Brady /
6 of 6
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Carolina Panthers must bring their undrafted players back down to Earth

I’ll start out this final slide with a little story, so bear with me.

It’s 2015 and the Denver Broncos are tied with the New England Patriots in overtime. Quarterback Brock Osweiler, playing in relief of an injured Peyton Manning,  changes the play and running back C.J. Saunders runs for the game-winning touchdown.

That game is seen by most as the reason for the Houston Texans signing the unknown signal-caller to a four-year, $72 million deal that offseason.

We all remember how that turned out for all involved.

But what’s the point of that little journey you ask? Any player can have a good game and get overhyped.

The New Orleans Saints receiving core looked good in Week 1, even with very limited yardage. When you take a closer look that isn’t necessarily the case though.

If you take away one big play their leading receiver would have only had 21 total yards.

New Orleans’ wideout room is made up almost entirely of undrafted players. There is a reason these players went overlooked and those reasons will show up eventually. Just like how Osweiler eventually proved why he was the backup in Denver.

There is also something to be said of “backup syndrome”. Where a quarterback comes in and torches a superior team because they have no film on them.

But now there is some film on these receivers and a full week to look for something to exploit.

With how lopsided this matchup will be from a talent perspective, the Carolina Panthers’ secondary has to step up and play like they deserved to be drafted. That chip of being unwanted can only bridge so big a gap before they go tumbling off the edge.

Undrafted players are always an amazing story but rarely is it ever more than that. Some part of their game is incomplete, there is something to exploit, and the likes of Donte Jackson and Jaycee Horn are simply too good to not take advantage of those things.

This matchup may not be the most star-laden, however, it may just be the biggest key of them all. Because you can’t throw to an unopen target and expect good things to happen.

Must Read. 4 best late round gems the Carolina Panthers didn’t do enough with. light

Even if all these keys fall the Panthers’ way, this will be an extremely close game and will more than likely come down to whoever has the football last. I for one have my popcorn at the ready for what could turn into an all-time great contest that we talk about for years to come.