How will the Carolina Panthers’ defensive backs fare against some outstanding pass-catchers across the NFC South in 2022?
The Carolina Panthers head into the 2022 season with genuine optimism. Something that hasn’t been experienced since Matt Rhule took over as head coach before the 2020 campaign.
One thing the Panthers need is a strong defense. Phil Snow’s unit looked good on occasions in 2021, but a distinct lack of offensive continuity down the stretch meant it was simply too much for this gifted group to overcome.
The defensive backs will be crucial to any success that comes Carolina’s way. It’s a secondary loaded with talent and Steve Wilks is sure to have them primed and ready to go every week.
With this in mind, we took an in-depth look at how Carolina’s defensive backs might fare against each NFC South rival in 2022.
New Orleans Saints
Carolina Panthers DBs vs. Saints
The New Orleans Saints are getting Michael Thomas back from injury after he missed all of the 2021 season. Not too long ago the wideout won NFL Offensive Player of the Year and broke the league record for receptions with 149.
Something else the Carolina Panthers must handle is the arrivals of Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave to the Saints’ wide receiver unit. The rookie out of Ohio State brings a shifty quick twitch role at the position, while being a deep threat and has the potential to take a five-yard route to the house.
Without Sean Payton calling the plays, the question is how these three will get involved in the offense.
Landry has seen a dip in production over the past two years but as a No. 3 option, he can still make plays when needed. When Thomas is receiving most of the attention, the free-agent signing will be left one on one more often than not.
The Panthers’ secondary stacks up well with the Saints wideout core as Donte Jackson has the IQ and speed to cover all three, Jaycee Horn boasts the size and man coverage skills to shadow Thomas, and C.J. Henderson will be able to capably cover Jarvis.