5 crucial takeaways from Panthers dominant Week 2 win vs. the Saints

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

The Carolina Panthers once again bossed the first half

Last weekend the Carolina Panthers found themselves 16-0 up at halftime against the hapless New York Jets, they went one point better and shut out the New Orleans Saints en route to a 17-0 advantage at the break.

Although we saw similar struggles in the third quarter, the Panthers were utterly dominant in the first half. Carolina put together one of the most impressive opening drives in recent memory for fans, something that set the tone for the entire contest.

Starting on their own 25-yard line, in the blink of an eye Carolina went 75 yards in just five plays and three minutes.

Sam Darnold was 3/3 for 72 yards, eventually throwing a 20-yard strike to Brandon Zylstra for his first NFL touchdown which was a cool moment for him.

Zylstra, who played his college football at Division III Concordia-Moorhead in Minnesota, recorded his first professional touchdown since 2017 when he was playing for the Edmonton Elks in the Canadian Football League.

A lot was talked about if the Panthers would struggle against better opposition, especially after the Saints’ complete beatdown of the MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Despite the Saints being short-changed with injuries and dealing with COVID issues amongst the coaching staff, the Panthers still dominated.

The Saints ended the first half with just three first downs and didn’t make a single trip into the Panthers’ red zone.