5 critical factors that will decide the Panthers vs. Saints in Week 3

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) Jameis Winston /

Carolina Panthers must disrupt Jameis Winston

A lot of this game hinges on the play of the Carolina Panthers’ defense if they want to emerge victorious. Defensive Coordinator Phil Snow must scheme up a game plan that puts Jameis Winston under duress early and often.

Winston was limited in practice on Wednesday for the New Orleans Saints but will likely suit up. It was reported that the Florida State product played the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with four fractured vertebrae in his back.

Since being drafted No. 1 overall back in 2015, Winston’s play has followed a continuous pattern. Stellar play littered with an abundance of turnovers including his infamous 30-for-30 campaign in 2019.

We even saw shades of that in 2021. During the Saints’ season opener against the Green Bay Packers, Winston threw for five touchdowns and zero turnovers in a blowout 38-3 win but was humbled against the Panthers a few short days later.

Winston doesn’t do well under pressure. Therefore, Snow would be wise to send a lot of blitzes and be more creative in pursuit of getting to the signal-caller.

A lot has been made of the fact the Panthers are currently the only NFL team without a turnover so far this season. But if Winston’s taught us anything, he’ll always provide a turnover opportunity.

The Panthers must find ways of getting after the quarterback. This means Brian Burns should not have 15 of his snaps in coverage as he did in Week 2.