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 /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Laviska Shenault Jr. /

Carolina Panthers unleashed Laviska Shenault Jr.

As much as I would love to give Baker Mayfield credit for the Carolina Panthers’ late touchdown that salted away this game, looking at the play objectively it is hard to credit anyone but Laviska Shenault Jr.

It was a simple screen in which the quarterback yet again was unable to get the ball past the line of scrimmage and checked the ball down. But the newly acquired wide receiver did the rest.

Shenault made his first would-be tackler miss near the line of scrimmage, running past two more New Orleans Saints defensive backs and leaving them in the dust. Simply put, this was exactly what the Panthers were hoping for when they struck a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the offensive weapon.

This took the pressure off of a tired Carolina defense and gave the Panthers their first offensive touchdown of the game. It would be surprising if the coaching staff doesn’t find ways to put the ball in Shenault’s hands more consistently considering how explosive looked on debut.

If Shenault doesn’t make this play perhaps the Carolina defense is too gassed to finish and New Orleans steals one just as they did in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. A question we’ll fortunately never have to contemplate after the Panthers finally decided to unleash the Colorado product at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.