4 biggest reasons the Carolina Panthers won in Week 3 vs. Saints

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /
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What were the major reasons why the Carolina Panthers ended their dismal run of form against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3?

The Carolina Panthers finally delivered the clutch performance that had been missing for the first two weeks of the season beating the New Orleans Saints 22-14. This puts both teams at 1-2 on the season and gives Matt Rhule’s men a much-needed early divisional edge.

With the Atlanta Falcons rebuilding and New Orleans appearing to be in disarray offensively, the window for the Panthers to contend is still open. Carolina still has winnable games on the schedule and boasts a defense capable of keeping the team right in the thick of things.

Sunday’s game was defined by that defense carrying yet another average offensive performance. But if everything clicks together for Baker Mayfield in the coming weeks, the Panthers have a shot.

With that being said, here are four major reasons why the Panthers managed to avoid a tenth-straight loss in Week 3.

Major Reason No. 1

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

Carolina Panthers had Christian McCaffrey

While Christian McCaffrey may not have had the consistent explosive plays we are used to seeing from the running back, he carried the ball 25 times for 108 rushing yards and most importantly stayed healthy. The Carolina Panthers badly needed a great game from the former first-round pick with Baker Mayfield struggling, something he managed to accomplish with a gritty display.

McCaffrey averaged 4.3 yards per carry and was the workhorse we have become accustomed to witnessing. Heading into Week 4, the Panthers’ offense should continue to rely on the All-Pro, asking him to take on a heavy workload and help relieve some pressure from Mayfield for good measure.