4 players pivotal to Carolina Panthers chances in Week 3 vs. Saints

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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What players on the skidding Carolina Panthers are most pivotal to their chances of triumphing over the New Orleans Saints in Week 3?

Different week, the same story.

The Carolina Panthers seem to invent fun, new ways to lose every week at this point, and Week 2 was no exception. But no matter the cause, this is now the ninth contest the team has tasted defeat in a row dating back to last season and things are beginning to get ugly.

The game of football begins and ends with the basics and that was what killed the Panthers’ chances of a win against the New York Giants. Without fumbles in the first two drives of the game, leading to six points, who knows how that game would have turned out?

While not all the blame for this loss can be set on the shoulders of one person, there is someone overseeing everything on the field and patience is running dangerously thin for Matt Rhule. At this point, it might not be much longer before team owner David Tepper cuts his losses and begins the search sooner rather than later.

Barring any sudden leadership changes, this team has a lot of work to do if it wants to even think about competing against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3. Even if the old NFC South rival isn’t necessarily going at full steam to start the season either.

However, the argument could be made that the Panthers are the worst team in the division and maybe even the NFL at this point.

With all of that said, the Saints are coming off of a truly disheartening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which they kept it close but were only able to score 10 points. This is never enough against Tom Brady.

This has all the makings of an exciting contest. But which four Panthers players could prove most pivotal to the team’s chances in Week 3?